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10/08/2016 2:19 pm  #1

NFL Ratings Down 10%

Is it the Election?

Ratings Fumble for NFL Surprises Networks, Advertisers
So far this season, viewership on major networks is down about 10% from last season

The NFL has been sacked for a loss.

Once considered immune to the audience erosion plaguing the television industry, ratings for the National Football League have slipped through the first four weeks of the season.

TV networks have spent heavily on sports, and the NFL in particular, because of their must-see nature. While more viewers today watch commercial-free streaming services like Netflix or record shows on DVRs and skip the ads, sports programming primarily is still watched live, making it valuable to advertisers.

Combined, ESPN, Fox, NBC and CBS are spending an average of $5 billion a year for football rights through 2021. The games not only score big ratings and ad sales, but are crucial platforms to promote other programming.

This season, network viewership is down about 10% from last season, according to Nielsen data, with steeper declines for prime-time games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. The drop has caught advertisers and rights holders off guard and left them scrambling to find a cause.

“We’re scratching our heads,” said Andy Donchin, a media buyer at Amplifi US, an ad-buying unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, whose clients include General Motors Co. “We cannot pinpoint any specific reason why the numbers are down. It is probably being caused by a confluence of events.”

One reason often cited is the election. The Sept. 26 debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew 84 million viewers, cutting into ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” While this Sunday’s New York Giants versus Green Bay Packers matchup on NBC will probably fare better, its ratings likely will be impacted by the head-to-head competition with the second presidential debate.

Rating declines for Sunday afternoon aren’t nearly as steep as the prime-time telecasts, but Fox and CBS are down, while cable news ratings are up.

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

10/08/2016 2:28 pm  #2

Re: NFL Ratings Down 10%

People get tired of things. Politics wears people down and perhaps people get tired of also seeing players making social/political statements too. I know I care less and less each year about sports in general and professional sports in particular. Look what happened to NASCAR. There are fewer and fewer people in the stands and if it were not for TV money it likely would be on its way out. With Pro basketball, might as well normally just watch the last 10 minutes. Don't know if others are feeling some of the same things or not, but just thought I might give some of my perspective. 


Last edited by tennyson (10/08/2016 2:29 pm)

"Do not confuse motion and progress, A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress"

10/08/2016 2:44 pm  #3

Re: NFL Ratings Down 10%

I don't watch anywhere near the sports that I once did.
Primarily I watch college football.
And I've developed an interest in soccer.
There are just so many viewing choices anymore, sports and non sport related.
And the NFL just leaves me cold anymore

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
     Thread Starter

10/08/2016 3:56 pm  #4

Re: NFL Ratings Down 10%

Agree with you both, particularly about the NFL.  I cannot sit thru a game of four 15-minute quarters that now takes three hours or more to play because of all the lengthy commercials.  I lose interest by the half and find better use of my time. 


10/09/2016 12:06 pm  #5

Re: NFL Ratings Down 10%

The local Fox channel is NOT televising the Redskins game in Baltimore today.  Why do we always get stuck with Eagles games? 


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