The NFL’s media access policy ensures that national and local media have regular access to the game’s biggest stars, head coaches and other key personnel. Giving fans an inside look at their favorite teams deepens their connection with the league, increases the NFL’s audience, and keeps the focus on the game.
The policy sets the league’s minimum standards for access; clubs are encouraged to go beyond these requirements to help promote the game. Teams are expected to comply with the policy starting with offseason workouts and minicamps and continuing through the regular season, the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
Under the media access policy, each club’s public relations staff must arrange annual media training for all players and coaches, along with a separate session for rookies. The league holds teams responsible for communicating the policy to their players and for making sure that players understand the importance of being available for interviews after every game and during mandatory open locker room periods (four times a week during the season — typically on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — for 45 minutes per session).
The policy also includes sections on the release of medical information, weekly release of depth charts and weekly conference calls for head coaches and key players with media from an opponent’s city.
The league stays in close contact with the teams throughout the year, addressing any questions they may have and ensuring that the policy is enforced consistently. Violations are considered conduct detrimental to the league; players or teams that do not make themselves available to the media or do not adhere to the league’s policy may be fined. However, increased cooperation between the league and its clubs has reduced the number of fines: In the 2013–14 league year, the NFL issued only three fines for violations of the media access policy, down from 13 in the 2011–12 league year.
See the 2015 NFL media access policy.