NEW YORK -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the recession has helped build TV audiences for NFL games.
Speaking on CBS' "60 Minutes," to be aired Sunday, Goodell said the nearly 60 million people tuning in to watch last Sunday's conference championships show that.
"People want to feel part of a group, feel like they're connected, and right now during these difficult times, they can turn on free television and watch the greatest entertainment that's out there," Goodell said. "They can forget their worries for just a few hours."
Goodell also expressed his concern about getting fans to come to the stadium rather than watching at home.
"Our biggest challenge going forward is how do we get people to come to our stadiums because the experience is so great at home," he says. "When you turn on (a football game), you want to see a full stadium."
Goodell was given a five-year contract extension this week, through the 2018 season.
The NFL recently signed nine-year extensions with its broadcast partners and could bring in as much as $3 billion in broadcast revenues by 2022. The league's overall revenues for this year are projected to exceed $10 billion.
Goodell also discussed officiating on the program, mentioning meetings "to understand where we've made mistakes, where we can improve."
"The fastest way to hear from an owner is when a referee blows a call on the field, even after reviewing the videotape on a challenge," Goodell said.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press