By: Stache Staff

Week 5: NFL Ratings See Further Decline


The NFL ratings issue continues to confound league officials. It is an issue for which they keep fielding questions from curious reporters, and the reasons they keep giving are up for debate. This isn’t the sort of issue that will distract from conversations about the NFL spread, but it is still worth debating.

The reasons given for the decline is ratings tend to vary. The game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants on Sunday garnered a 10.2 overnight rating. The fact that the ratings were so low can probably be blamed on the second presidential debate which also aired that night.

Compared to another game in the same week in 2015, the 2016 ratings were definitely lower than expected. The 2016 elections are a problem for everyone that has to worry about TV ratings. The NFL isn’t the only one suffering; however, it is difficult to believe that the elections are the primary cause of the decline in ratings.

NFL officials are probably worried; after all, they made a point of sending out an internal memo to all 32 teams, encouraging them not to worry about the ratings. There has never been this much interest in the elections before, so primetime ratings were always going to suffer, or so Howard Katz and Brian Rolapp, the NFL representatives have tried to argue.

No one was sure whether the NFL letter would be bold enough to raise the issue of the National Anthem protests. But they mentioned it, saying that there was no evidence to suggest that the Colin Kaepernick-inspired protests were affecting ratings in any way.

One wonders whether the NFL’s fan base will accept their assurances and the assertions emerging from their data. The league might claim that their data doesn’t show any notable impact resulting from the Anthem Protests, but anyone that has engaged with the fans might disagree with that conclusion.

There are definitely people choosing to steer clear of the NFL because the Anthem protests are injecting a political element into the game that they simply do not appreciate.

And if people are starting to turn away from the NFL, they have little choice but to sit up and listen. The NFL receives billions of dollars primarily from Ad revenue, and a drastic drop in ratings could cause a loss of ad revenue.

It would make sense that the Anthem protests are actually pushing for such an outcome; after all, only a financial loss would force the NFL to take action to bring about some sort of change, whatever change that shape might take.

Of course, one cannot ignore the fact that NFL games are simply not as exciting as they used to be, primarily because of the absence of notable star power.

Looking at this issue from an objective angle, there are probably a variety of factors all of which are contributing to the decline in ratings. The election cycle, the Anthem protests and the absence of star power: these are merely the loudest issues seemingly drawing interest from the public

Or maybe there is a deeper issue plaguing the NFL; they need to ensure that the ratings decline doesn’t become a trend, lest they begin losing ad revenue.

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