Sagging NFL TV ratings leave owners scrambling for answers.
According to USA Today:
“It’s an election year, silly.
That wasn’t the entire company line, but the impact of the dramatic presidential election cycle was certainly a prevailing sentiment as NFL owners gathered Tuesday for their quarterly meeting and assessed the league’s unusual and precipitous dip in TV ratings.
Assuming the results aren’t, well, rigged, NFL games — the undisputed king of U.S. sports viewing — were down 11% for the first six weeks of the season when compared to a similar point last year.
“It’s a very muddied water right now because you’ve got obviously the debates going on and you have the Donald Trump show,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told USA TODAY Sports. “That’s a lot of commotion right now. It’s pretty hard to figure out right now what’s real and what’s not.”
The first debate, which ran opposite of a Falcons-New Orleans Saints Monday Night Football matchup in late September, drew a record 84 million viewers. The second debate, coinciding with a New York Giants-Green Bay Packers Sunday night prime-time clash, had 69 million viewers.
“Obviously, the debates have had a big impact,” Houston Texans owner Robert McNair told USA TODAY Sports.
But the debates represent just the biggest of several suspected factors. Tom Brady served four games in Deflategate jail. Peyton Manning retired. The younger generation is increasingly watching games or clips streamed to mobile devices. Too many penalties. Unappealing prime-time matchups. Too many prime-time match-ups.”
Perhaps, it could have something to do with the number of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem?
Maybe Americans just want to take a break from all the politics to watch some good old American football instead of spoiled (oops, I mean “oppressed”) athletes engaging in political protests?