The booming popularity of the NFL is most evident in the national revenue the league accrued during the 2014 campaign.
On Monday, ESPN's Darren Rovell reported the amount the NFL collected and split between the 32 teams totaled $7.24 billion, with each team collecting $226.4 million, mostly from television deals.
Rovell added more context to how far the NFL has come in terms of revenue in recent years, and Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated analyzed the profit margin:
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
Just five years ago, NFL teams equally split a little more than $3 billion in national revenue. This past year, the pot was $7.2 billion.2015-7-20 20:24:13
Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt
Key number: $226M in "national revenue": this is the annual check every team gets from the NFL. Salary Cap was $100M less than that.2015-7-20 20:27:22
In February, the New England Patriots finally earned a long-awaited fourth championship in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era by defeating the reigning champion Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. The ongoing Deflategate saga wound up bringing even more attention to the league's pre-eminent winner.
Seattle was too tough for the rest of the NFC, defeating the Green Bay Packers in a thrilling overtime conference-championship contest. The Packers rather fortuitously advanced to that stage by beating the Dallas Cowboys on a controversial no-catch call for Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant.
Even with the rough year the NFL endured away from the gridiron, the league's popularity appears to be at an all-time high based on the latest revenue numbers. There's plenty of positivity for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office to reflect on amid persistent scrutiny.
Lucrative TV contracts will likely keep business booming as long as viewers continue to tune in. Numerous touchdowns, widespread parity and the exciting nature of football ought to help the NFL and its teams maintain a healthy revenue stream for the foreseeable future.