Patriots Chairman/CEO Robert Kraft is co-hosting "The Squawk Box" this morning on CNBC, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was an in-studio guest.
The two touched on a few business-related items in the NFL, including the possibility of a rookie wage scale for draft picks and what Kraft called an "inefficiency" in the system. The issue is expected to be one of the hot topics in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Goodell said the NFL will commit $600 million to first-round draft picks on Saturday, with $400 million guaranteed. The numbers are richest at the top of the round.
"It's significant expenses that we have to pay to players that have not yet proven themselves on the NFL field," Goodell said. "My philosophy has been the proven veterans that do it on the NFL field should be ones rewarded."
Both Goodell and Kraft touched on ongoing discussions with Comcast regarding the distribution of NFL Network, as the current agreement between the two expires at the end of the month. They hope to see NFL Network moved to the digital basis, off the sports tier, which would reach a wider audience.
As for how the economy is affecting the NFL, Goodell pointed out that clubs have been receptive to the struggles of their fans, noting that 24 of 32 teams did not raise ticket prices this year. He said some have extended payment terms.
Kraft said that the Patriots' season-ticket renewal rate -- season-ticket holders were required to renew in March -- was in the mid 90 percent range. Kraft had been worried the percentage would be lower.
"We're very pleased with that, and I think what's happened is that people who are given quality entertainment -- people are going to travel less. I think we have a chance to become more important, as long as people are comfortable branding with us and getting emotionally connected to us," he said. "Thank goodness, that's happened. When you stay with quality, the fans come."