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League racks up biggest ratings since 1987, and all that that implies

The NFL is trumpeting today the fact that the Week One games, many of which weren’t all that compelling or well played, scored the highest TV ratings since 1987.

And through the league’s justifiable trumpeting of that fact, the league possibly is overlooking the fact that the numbers still fall short of the last season-opening weekend before the last work stoppage.

Making those 1987 numbers even more impressive is the fact that the NFL used to launch the season on Labor Day Weekend, when fewer people are sitting inside with the television turned on.

And perhaps the NFL and the NFLPA should take note of that fact.  It’s taken 23 years since the last work stoppage to come close to the total Week One viewership enjoyed in the last Week One before football went away for a while.  So maybe the two sides should work toward preventing another work stoppage.

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37 Responses to “League racks up biggest ratings since 1987, and all that that implies”
  1. dldove77 says: Sep 16, 2010 1:30 PM

    But in 1987 there were far fewer people watching cable and far fewer channels from which to choose. Not to mention there was no internet back then.

  2. Chapnasty. says: Sep 16, 2010 1:32 PM

    “So maybe the two sides should work toward preventing another work stoppage.”
    It will never happen with the players using the bully approach.

  3. birdmancometh says: Sep 16, 2010 1:34 PM

    Lock ‘em out.

  4. ModHairKen says: Sep 16, 2010 1:34 PM

    You are right, the NFL ought to pay attnetion. But they are too busy making sure Woody Johnson tells his players to stop getting a woody johnson when a nice looking reporter walks in the locker room.

  5. jj jones says: Sep 16, 2010 1:38 PM

    The NFL in the mid-late 80′s had more star power than at any point in the league’s existence. And the top teams had the most recognizable players and coaches.

  6. raiderrob21 says: Sep 16, 2010 1:39 PM

    TV ratings go up when people dont go/cant afford to go to the games. People dont have money right now to buy tickets or go to Bars to watch the games. For $400 (Directv Sunday Ticket) you can see EVERY GAME (including localy Blacked Out games. Super Fan and sign up for SuperCast. Allows you to watch from your computer and Smart Phone. I watch my Raider Home games on my compter screen next to the 60″ Flat screen.) ALL YEAR LONG!!!! Its a NO BRAINER!!!

  7. Rangenius says: Sep 16, 2010 1:39 PM

    How bout we let the cable companies carry NFL Sunday Ticket so the ratings can go even higher….

  8. wrekOgnize says: Sep 16, 2010 1:40 PM

    It’s because people can’t afford to buy tickets to a game, so they watch it on TV

  9. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Sep 16, 2010 1:40 PM

    “It’s taken 23 years since the last work stoppage to come close to the total Week One viewership enjoyed in the last Week One before football went away for a while. ”
    That’s also when people had about 5 channels on their TV. I hate to let facts get in the way of a good rant, but ratings for everything have declined over the last 3 decades.

  10. CHIEF ZEE says: Sep 16, 2010 1:45 PM

    Bring on the replacements…worked for my skins years ago.

  11. EverybodyGotAIDS says: Sep 16, 2010 1:45 PM

    In 1987, I was 3 years old. Not only could I not drive, I also had little to no disposable income and my friends also had neither the ability to drive nor disposable income. Now, I have many more options as to how to spend my Sunday. While I always watch at least 1 NFL game, I do not watch more than 2 very frequently, like I used to. I will say that having a bedtime after 7pm does allow me to watch night games with far greater regularity.

  12. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Sep 16, 2010 1:47 PM

    That is because the Saints had a good season that year!!!
    And look at them again…

  13. sacdaddy says: Sep 16, 2010 1:47 PM

    1987 NFL had players fueled with blow and steroids, I’d be watching that gladiator free for all too.

  14. wintertonka says: Sep 16, 2010 1:54 PM

    Completely different media environment today. The ratings from this past weekend are far more impressive than the higher ratings in the 1980s and you clearly know that, Florio.

  15. Saintsarebest says: Sep 16, 2010 1:56 PM

    everyone had to tune in to see the siants demolish the vikings, stand over there carcus and scream who dat!

  16. grandavenue says: Sep 16, 2010 2:01 PM

    But the players are 1!!
    1 over paid group of cry babies.

  17. philbirds says: Sep 16, 2010 2:08 PM

    ^^^ yeah, well back then everybody had 1 runningback and 2 receivers that is why there may have been more star. casual fans may not know devery henderson, but players like him help teams win. also players fizzle out a lot quicker now because there is always somebody younger better. lol @ brian urlacher.

  18. Hap says: Sep 16, 2010 2:08 PM

    I actually agree with Florio. Shoot me.

  19. titlesong says: Sep 16, 2010 2:10 PM

    I understand your point MF, but if you are mentioning the Labor Day weekend, fairness would dictate that you also account for the # of programing options today compared to 1987.
    200 plus channels today vs. an average of 4 in most US homes circa 1987.
    Also, the # of sports on those channels has increased the competition…
    Just trying to be fair and balanced….

  20. CowboysFansAreAllBandwagonFans says: Sep 16, 2010 2:11 PM

    “And through the league’s justifiable trumpeting of that fact, the league possibly is overlooking the fact that the numbers still fall short of the last season-opening weekend before the last work stoppage.”

    I’m no English Major, but that has to be the worst sentence ever.

  21. southpaw330 says: Sep 16, 2010 2:15 PM

    What a stupid post. The NFL opened the season on September 13th in 1987. Was a Google search too much?

  22. AllThat says: Sep 16, 2010 2:19 PM

    HDTV in a bar or at your home. No news here.

  23. Bordner says: Sep 16, 2010 2:20 PM

    Plus there was no DirectTV, so probably not as many sports bar options to go to watch your favorite team. If you were out of market, you had no choice but to watch the local team and hope for updates.
    But I was nowhere near addicted to the NFL as I am today. I weathered the stoppages in ’82 and ’87 with little discomfort – now would be different.
    I need my weekly fix!

  24. Dman33 says: Sep 16, 2010 2:23 PM

    I would think that more people watching from home is directly connected to the stadiums being empty. I don’t think they should be seeing that as a good thing.

  25. _ROCKSTAR_ says: Sep 16, 2010 2:28 PM

    also doesn’t hurt that no one is going to the games and staying at home and watching them.

  26. palewook says: Sep 16, 2010 2:29 PM

    lock out the players and watch what happens to your next round of tv contracts. the nhl is still rotting on the VS network after its lost season from a lock out.
    the nfl won’t be thrown off the major networks for a lockout but they will lose millions in the next tv contract for a work-stoppage though

  27. liquidgrammar says: Sep 16, 2010 2:37 PM

    @ Chapnasty – “It’ll never happen with the players using the bully approach.”
    I liken that to Iraq complaining of war atrocities as they threaten to nuke all of the Sunnis! You’ve got to be kidding, right?! I believe it was the OWNERS who opted out of an agreement they made with the players, and have been threatening lockout for the last two years!! Now, all things considered, this is like two Kennedy’s fighting over $1000! But calling out just one side is ludicrous!

  28. VikingsPrincess says: Sep 16, 2010 2:39 PM

    @SaintsAreBest
    You said, “everyone had to tune in to see the siants demolish the vikings, stand over there carcus and scream who dat!”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Let me know when your team actually “demolishes” the Vikings. You haven’t yet, as you well know. An OT field goal is not “demolishing” and neither is a 5 pt spread. If your team makes the play-offs, we’ll see you there and show you how one team “demolishes” another. You can ask the Cowpokes about their experience in being demolished in the divisional round last year.

  29. wd40 says: Sep 16, 2010 2:47 PM

    Obama and his BS Administration have taken all our disposable income. No choice but to stay home and watch football.
    Soon the rating will tank since we’ll have to go out and work off the debt.

  30. stetai says: Sep 16, 2010 2:48 PM

    You’re wrong Florio. Baseball lost an entire season and the crappy American sports fan completely forgot about the strike as soon as they had a steroid fueled home run race to follow, and every MLB player since has laughed their way to the bank.
    The players screwed up years ago when they accepted the crappy deal and they need to be willing to sacrifice a season for the long term. The fact that so many NBA, MLB, and NHL guys make so much more money than the top NFL guys is a travesty.
    Don’t be scared NFLPA, Baseball showed how fans will still show up like sheep when the bell is rung.

  31. wferg1121 says: Sep 16, 2010 2:49 PM

    “League racks up biggest ratings since 1987, and all that that implies” is that a lot more people are at home watching, because they cannot afford to go to the games, and are sitting on their ass because they cannot find a job.

  32. Saintsarebest says: Sep 16, 2010 2:52 PM

    @vikingprincess
    come on down, bow, kiss our ring and cry out WHO DAT!!!
    If our team makes the playoffs? child please, the siants are going back to back! and farve is going back to the farm. we have breesus and a ring. how many rings do the viking have? answer that before you run your mouth.

  33. SDW2001 says: Sep 16, 2010 2:59 PM

    jj jones says:
    September 16, 2010 1:38 PM
    The NFL in the mid-late 80′s had more star power than at any point in the league’s existence. And the top teams had the most recognizable players and coaches.
    ___________________________
    I don’t agree with that at all. The NFL is far more popular than it was then.

  34. NYMets says: Sep 16, 2010 2:59 PM

    Miami Dolphins welcome a lockout. This way their team is always tied for first place.

  35. liquidgrammar says: Sep 16, 2010 3:05 PM

    Okay, so the players take the brunt of this because they’re million dollar athletes. Huh?! What about the BILLION DOLLAR owners??!! They’re just as culpable, if not more so!! I don’t want to here BDO’s, as the owners will heretofore be referred as, crying and whining about money, either!! I do believe that the BDOs were at the bargaining table as well when this contract went into existence! And, speaking of contracts, this is the ONLY sports industry where a contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on!! So the BDOs don’t have to honor player contracts or the CBA, but the players should take less and shut up??? I’ll go out there and hold up a finger to the BDOs, all right!!!!

  36. LAEaglefan says: Sep 16, 2010 3:37 PM

    If it comes down to it, maybe they can get Obama to declare a lockout illegal. Let’s see if he can handle it better than he did with the oil spill.

  37. jj jones says: Sep 16, 2010 3:42 PM

    “SDW2001 says:
    September 16, 2010 2:59 PM
    I don’t agree with that at all. The NFL is far more popular than it was then. ”
    The NFL as a whole is more popular than it was then. But a large part of that is because of the parity that exists in the league. In 1987 the best teams were Chicago(Ditka, Payton, Perry), New York(Parcells, Simms, LT), Washington(Gibbs, The Hogs), San Francisco(Walsh, Montana, Rice), Denver(Elway) and Miami (Shula, Marino). Big markets, big stars, big ratings.

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