With proposed changes, NFL aims to cut down on commercial breaks, speed up games

Verizon NFL deal
FF Swami/Flickr
Watching an NFL football game is a serious time commitment. For every second of action on the field, we spend several more waiting for the next play to start or, worse, watching commercials. Things are looking up, though: Commissioner Roger Goodell has revealed that the league has started looking at ways to speed up the game and address other fan concerns.

Perhaps the most exciting change that Goodell announced is a reduction in the number of commercial breaks and in total ad time. That annoying commercial-kickoff sandwich, for example? Goodell told USA Today on Wednesday that he hates it, too.

“It drives me crazy,” the commissioner said. “We call those ‘double-ups.’ They actually occurred 27 percent of the time (on kickoffs last season). And that’s still too high for us.”

Cutting back on double-ups sounds good, and it’s just the starting point. The league also plans to go down to four commercial breaks per quarter instead of the pattern we’ve become used to — five breaks in the first quarter, and then six, five, and five in the subsequent quarters. However, before you get too excited, know that the commercial breaks will become 30 seconds longer, going from a minute and 50 seconds to 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Based on the numbers Goodell provided, the new pattern only shaves about a minute and 10 seconds of commercial break time over the course of a game, but it may seem like a big improvement to viewers. The NFL’s research indicates that the number of breaks is more noticeable to fans than the actual length of them. It just gives us more time to make our nachos or post our reactions.

Also coming this fall with the new season will be tweaks to replays and the timing of the game. For example, the league plans to institute of a play clock after extra points and maybe even after touchdowns, as Goodell described in an email to NFL fans, according to Deadline. He also suggested that player celebration rules may get more lax, so keep your fingers crossed for more end zone antics. The league will vote on the issues at its annual meeting, which starts Sunday, meaning we’ll likely see more changes soon.

Goodell told USA Today that the changes weren’t related to last season’s ratings dip, but they may help all the same.

Product Review

The Lenovo Legion Y740 brings RTX 2080 graphics power for under $2,500

Coming with the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, the Legion Y740 one big beast. But priced at under $2,500 how does Lenovo’s Legion stand up against the crowd?

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Aliens, Avengers: Endgame, Charlie Says, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Charlie Says, Doom: Annihilation, and more.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Movies & TV

MoviePass returns to unlimited movies plan, but with plenty of restrictions

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Movies & TV

Want free movie tickets? Beam these ads into your eyeballs for 15 minutes

Would you watch ads for 20 minutes to earn a free movie ticket? MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes bets you will, and he's launching PreShow, a new app with some pretty advanced technology, to prove it.
Movies & TV

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Everything we know so far

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Movies & TV

New John Wick: Chapter 3 trailer brings gunfights, dogs, and Matrix Easter eggs

A new trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum punctuates the action with a deeper look at the film's star-studded cast, as well as a sly reference to Keanu Reeves' other big action franchise.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Movies & TV

Us review: Jordan Peele makes seeing double singularly terrifying

Jordan Peele follows up his Oscar-winning 2017 thriller Get Out with a more straightforward horror film in Us, but the film's blunt terror succeeds thanks to fantastic performances from the cast and clever storytelling.
Movies & TV

The Mandalorian snags Taika Waititi as the voice of a classic Star Wars villain

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.