Chicago hosts three-day NFL draft

World Today

It’s draft season for the United States’ most popular professional sport: American football.

For the second year in a row, player selection for the National Football League is taking place in Chicago. It’s one of the most anticipated events on the sports calendar for a multi-billion dollar league.

CCTV America’s Roza Kazan reports.

The NFL is the most lucrative sports league in the world, taking in $12 billion in revenue last year.

For broadcast rights, the latest multi-year contract has the three major networks paying the NFL $3 billion a year. Factor in other media and the deals total $7 billion a year.

That’s because a Sunday night football game can draw up to 25 million viewers, consistently the highest rated show on U.S. television. The League aims even higher – hoping to earn $25 billion in revenue by 2027.

Chicago has waived nearly a million dollars in rental fees for the NFL to use one of its parks for the so-called Draft Town. City officials justify the exception saying last year the event generated $44 million in dining, hotel stays and sales tax.

Perhaps not for much longer though. Several other U.S. cities have expressed interest in hosting the event, hoping they too can generate millions of dollars of revenue from the event.

For now, Chicago is basking in the spotlight as the NFL Draft City.

Los Angeles Rams make a play for international fan base

American football is wildly popular across the United States, but its one sport that has never “kicked off” overseas and professional league organizers are not giving up.

CCTV America’s Patrice Howard reports on a team in Los Angeles that has its sights set on going global.

U.S. football fans are rooting for the home team once again in Los Angeles, as the Rams franchise settles back into Southern California.

Focused on the season ahead, the team picked new players at this NFL Draft event, while fans picked up where they left off 21-years ago.

It’s clear the LA Rams are rebuilding their fan base here in Los Angeles. But they are also hoping to use America’s second largest city as a launching pad for international success.

The NFL may be the most lucrative sports league in the world, but unlike basketball or even baseball franchises, American football teams have failed to gain a following abroad.

The Rams are planning exhibition games in London this fall. They’ll play in China in 2018. But growing a diverse and international fan base doesn’t necessarily mean leaving Los Angeles.