In case you missed it, Wharton EMBA alumnus Anthony Noto was interviewed on CNBC a few weeks ago to talk about the business of football. A 1999 Wharton graduate, Noto formerly was a media and entertainment analyst at Goldman Sachs before becoming the CFO of the NFL in 2008.
In his first television appearance since joining the NFL, Noto talked with Darren Rovell about the state of the NFL as the season was opening in Pittsburgh. When asked about the growth of the game, Noto said, “We’re continuing to see strong year over year growth in all key fan engagement methods building on the strong success of the Super Bowl in 2008, which had a record audience of 152 million viewers. We’re continuing to see that growth strongly in audience ratings as it relates to preseason games that are up over 20%. The NFL Network’s ratings on a year-to-date basis are also up in the double-digit range.”
As for revenues, Noto explained that the economic environment has clearly hurt discretionary spending, having a negative impact on ticket sales, sponsorship, and advertising. As a result, the revenue forecast is lower than expected a year ago.
When asked about the difference between working at the NFL and on Wall Street, he replied “that would be comparing apples to oranges.”