Average operating income of National Football League teams 2002-2018

The average operating income of an NFL franchise was 102.13 million U.S. dollars in 2018 – an increase of nearly seven million U.S. dollars on the previous year and a new record for the league overall. With an operating income of 420 million U.S. dollars, the Dallas Cowboys topped the list of all 32 NFL teams during the 2018 season.

Are NFL franchises set to get even more valuable?

The NFL has reached new heights in terms of average operating income, but figures are forecast to increase further over the next few years. The NFL and its teams are set to start talks with TV networks over broadcast deals expiring in 2021 and 2022, and the league has reasons to be optimistic about attracting more money. The competitiveness of the sports broadcasting market has increased significantly due to the arrival of modern streaming services, increasing the likelihood of a bidding war. Renegotiation talks also come as the average television viewership of the NFL regular season increased during 2018 following two years of falling figures.

Show me the money!

Operating income refers to how much of a team’s revenue will become profit after deducting operating expenses, such as wages. Across all the major sporting leagues worldwide, the NFL tops the rankings for total wage spend, paying out in the region of five billion U.S. dollars. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL team that spends the most on player salaries: it paid its first-team players an average of 3.3 million U.S. dollars during the 2018 season.

National Football League: average operating income per franchise from 2002 to 2018

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Release date

September 2019


United States

Survey time period

2002 to 2018

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Statistics on "National Football League"

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