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In an exclusive interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about “the big money” surrounding Super Bowl LIV telling host Maria Bartiromo that the game becomes “bigger and bigger every year and it becomes more complicated because of that.”
“But, that’s also the fun of it because more people share in it,” he continued. “More people have an opportunity to be part of the Super Bowl, whether you’re here in Miami or whether you’re home at a Super Bowl party. That is what we love. We love engaging our fans.”
The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will go head to head Sunday for the NFL championship in Miami Gardens, Fla. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET, with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Fox.
Both teams were among the top seeds in the NFL Playoffs and won their conference championship games decisively.
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The NFL celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019, with last year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta marking the beginning of the league’s “NFL 100” initiatives, events and programs.
“We’re proud of our 100-year anniversary. It has been a wonderful celebration for us so that’s great, but the event is more than a football game now,” Goodell said.
“It’s something really special that people look forward to, plan around and it’s become essentially its own holiday.”
During the exclusive interview, Goodell also talked about the collective bargaining agreement with players as well as the renewals of contracts with media partners.
When Bartiromo mentioned contracts with broadcast and digital partners expiring after the 2022 season and asked how distribution might change, Goodell answered, “We love to be available on the broadest medium.”
“That’s why our network partners are important to us, but we’ve supplemented that by bringing in other opportunities to reach fans that may not be watching on network television, they may not be watching a full game, they may be watching highlights,” he continued.
“So social, over the top, digital transmission of our broadcasts are really important to us and so we make our games available on all those platforms.”
“We make it easy for people to engage because we want the broadest number of people to watch and to engage and to share in that,” he added.
Goodell also told Bartiromo “our discussions are always ongoing.”
He elaborated by saying, “I wouldn’t say we’re in formal negotiations, but we always have discussions.
“We are very open to changing packages, we’re very open to changing partners, we’re open to do the best thing we can for our fans and for the league overall for the long term,” he added.
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As it pertains to the collective bargaining agreement, Goodell acknowledged that the negotiation can always be challenging, “But it’s also the opportunity.”
“Because when people really put their focus on, OK here are the challenges, now let’s work to try to find solutions, our players have been extraordinary in looking at that and coming up with solutions and saying what about if we tried this? It actually leads to really terrific solutions when two parties can come together and say, ‘Here’s a great outcome,’” he explained.
The Chiefs are appearing in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1970, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV. San Francisco has won five Super Bowls, but has not lifted the Lombardi trophy since 1995. Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to their most recent Super Bowl appearance in 2013, but San Francisco fell 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
Goodell also told Bartiromo about measures the NFL is implementing to make the game safer, saying, “there are things that we’ve been working on for years.”
“We all want to make sure that the game is as safe as possible for our players,” Goodell said, adding that that includes answering questions like, “How do we train them? How do we take techniques out of the game? How do we take drills out of the game?”
He added, “We’re improving on the equipment. We have six new helmets being introduced this year. All of that will raise, I think, the health and safety of our players.”
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Bartiromo said more of her exclusive interview with Goodell will air on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” on Monday.
Fox News’ Julia Musto and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.
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