When the NFL debated bringing instant replay back to the league in 1999, one of the major concerns was how the use of replay would lengthen the game. Opponents to the system were afraid that the constant stoppage of game action would lead to fans losing interest in the contest, and, eventually, the sport.
SI.com posted a short article yesterday explaining how much of an impact replay had on the game last season, compared to the 2010 season. The big change between the 2010 and 2011 seasons was the addition of every scoring play being reviewed.
"Games last season lasted two hours and five minutes, a second faster than in 2010."
The SI.com article quotes Atlanta Falcons president and competition committee chairman Rich McKay, pulling the quotes from an ESPN article about the replay process.
"We were fearful going in about how we could pull it off,'' said McKay. "I give the league a lot of credit for pulling it off the right way.''
I would agree with McKay. The NFL has replay working, and working well. The other major sports leagues (I'm looking at you Major Legaue Baseball), really could learn from the system the NFL has put in place.