News and Commentary

NFL Ratings Tumble To New Low

So professional football players who make millions of dollars to play for three hours once a week for 17 weeks decided to protest by taking a knee during the National Anthem.

Then the people who pay their salaries decided to stop watching their games.

Sounds about right.

“Snagging a 7.4/13 in metered market results, last night’s TNF was a season low for the broadcast, on both CBS and NBC and simulcast on NFL Network. Taking a double-digit hit, the December 14 game was obviously down from last week and also the comparable gridiron match-up of last year where the Seattle Seahawks beat the L.A. Rams 24-3,” Deadline reported.

Sure, it was a crummy game — the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts, neither of which is playoff-bound. But still, Thursday night’s ratings were the lowest of the season. “The Broncos vs. Colts game peaked with a 8.0/14 in the 9:30 – 10 PM ET slot. Or to put it another way, that’s down a hard 30% from the meter market peak of last week’s TNF.”

But it’s not just Thursday nights that are plummeting. NFL fans aren’t tuning in to Sunday night games much, either.

“NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ match up between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in 17.2 million viewers on Sunday night. That number was down 35% from last year’s Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game,” CNN reported.

And unlike the the Thursday night game, that one was a doozy.

The drop for the NBC broadcast is troubling for a league that has been plagued by down ratings nearly all season. It’s even more surprising since the Ravens and the Steelers are bitter rivals and the game ended with the Steelers beating the Ravens 39 to 38.

NBC wasn’t the only one to see its NFL ratings take a dip. CBS’ slate of games over the weekend were down 27% from last year, while ESPN was down 9%. Fox was the only network to see its ratings go up from last year with its numbers up 6%.

Overall, the ratings for the NFL’s season are down 9% from last year.

Maybe those football players should stop protesting and just play the game.

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