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Ratings for Dolphins opener shockingly low in Miami

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin talks to his players on the bench during the first half of their NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston Reuters

Maybe Hard Knocks wasn’t good for business after all.

In addition to being miserable on the field, or perhaps more accurately because of it, nobody wants to watch the Dolphins in Miami.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins had their lowest local television rating for an opener in at least a decade and perhaps longer last week.

The 13.5 rating in the Miami market was lower than their 17.7 average last year, and was by far the lowest rating for an opener in the league.

They averaged a 20.2 rating for their last 10 openers, and got a 21.8 last year. That translates to 345,000 homes in Miami-Fort Lauderdale watching the Dolphins-Patriots opener in 2011, and just 213,813 watching the Texans game last week.

Even if you count the 66,000 or so who might have attended the game if it was at home, that’s still a huge dropoff.

To put the 13.5 in context, the Steelers did a 50.3 in Pittsburgh, and the Jaguars did a 23.0 in Jacksonville, which many consider a troubled market. The second-lowest local rating was an 18.5 in Atlanta for Falcons-Chiefs.

With season ticket sales plummeting to 42,584 this year (down nearly 20,000 since 2006), the Dolphins have serious problems.

Only one thing’s going to fix that, and it’s not orange carpet, a logo change or a reality show.

Only winning will change things, and apparently a lot of people in South Florida aren’t convinced that’s happening anytime soon.

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25 Responses to “Ratings for Dolphins opener shockingly low in Miami”
  1. Charles says: Sep 14, 2012 2:13 PM

    South Florida sports fans have never cared unless they think they have a shot to win. I can normally go to Panthers games here for about 5 bucks this year it went up to 20. Hard Knocks showed everyone early they really don’t have a good shot this season.

  2. Nevis says: Sep 14, 2012 2:13 PM

    Jeff Ireland. It begins and ends there. This team will go NO WHERE as long as he is their GM.

    The players don’t respect him or the ownership and why should they?

    Right now, odds are good Philbin will be in over his head this year.

  3. gottaplan says: Sep 14, 2012 2:14 PM

    The 21.8 was a reflection of all the Patriot fans that have invaded the nicer locale of Miami plus it was a Sunday night game, no other activites to do and the only game on.

    Not a fair comparison…

  4. dirtysouthironmen says: Sep 14, 2012 2:19 PM

    Any chance to take a dig on the Jags can’t be missed right?

  5. randomguy9999 says: Sep 14, 2012 2:25 PM

    South Florida has always been very wishy washy as fans ….. it’s always ‘what did you do last month?’ here… which isn’t very fun if you are a real fan

  6. Spoonthis says: Sep 14, 2012 2:28 PM

    I bet they beat the Bucs local tv ratings.

  7. deadeye says: Sep 14, 2012 2:29 PM

    Ross is willing to try anything, gimmicky minority owners, half-time shows honoring Bronco players, reality shows, logo change in the works.

    The only thing that will work is producing a winner. And that requires him to keep his stupid butt out of the business of the FO, which he apparently cannot do.

    Ross is the problem.

  8. miriam45 says: Sep 14, 2012 2:43 PM

    Please now – why watch this team that Ireland put together – when I can go to the beach?

  9. ReinaLee says: Sep 14, 2012 2:49 PM

    Low ratings were a surprise to who? I would have thought it was expected, the surprise would have been if people actually watched the game

  10. Subadai says: Sep 14, 2012 2:56 PM

    IS this the ens of “Hard Knocks?”

    I mean… good teams won’t do it b/c they don’t want the hassle… that’s why they are good.

    Now bad teams are going to shy away ’cause the home fans are going to get a real good idea how bad they are and will not watch… which hurts the owner and ultimately the league.

  11. bigfranky75 says: Sep 14, 2012 3:07 PM

    Percentage of the Problem:

    Jeff Ireland -75%
    Stephen Ross – 20%
    Fans – 5%

  12. i10east says: Sep 14, 2012 3:09 PM

    This mean that all Jacksonville cares about is college football, and the Jags are moving to LA, right?

  13. finfanjim says: Sep 14, 2012 3:13 PM

    Enough of mocking Dolphins fans for not being loyal.

    The Patriots couldn’t get 20,000 people to their games in the early 90s. Buffalo was only able to sell out their game against Miami for the entire season just a few years ago.

    Any team that has shown they don’t have the right owner/personnel will have empty stadiums. Miami was getting legit sellouts when the team was contending. And if anyone wants to point out visiting teams attendance, Miami is THE vacation destination for the most of the NFL. What is ignored are the 8-10, 000 Dolphns fans that show up in the pits of hell that are Foxboro, the Meadowlands and Orchard Park…

  14. eyeh8goodell says: Sep 14, 2012 3:32 PM

    I live in SoFla (from PA), and without a doubt these are the worst sports fans in the country. I’ve been through almost every state in this country and have lived in 5 different states. These people are the worst. A typical caller to local sports radio might usually gosomerhing like this: “duuuuuur ey yo why everybody be hatin’ on Lebron yo? Why don’t Peyton wanna come here? The weather bro! The weather! Miami marlins…..what’s that?”.

  15. pastabelly says: Sep 14, 2012 3:33 PM

    Why is this a surprise? Even when this team was good, they struggled to sell out playoff games. Also agree that the Patriots fans in South Florida probably drove last year’s viewership numbers up. The bad numbers in Atlanta also reflect a city that is more interested in college sports and NASCAR than its pro teams.

  16. FinFan68 says: Sep 14, 2012 3:37 PM

    The Dolphins fan base is spread throughout Florida because they were the first team in the state. Miami is a transplant city where many fans root for teams from the areas they left for the Miami weather. Using only the Miami TV market is misleading. I would bet the Orlando TV market had as high a rating or better for that game. The Miami area fan base is much like the fan base of LA teams…they are only interested while the team wins and will hit the parking lot at the first sign of a blowout; they will show up when the team wins at home consistently.

  17. thehighhat says: Sep 14, 2012 3:43 PM

    I’d rather be down the beach, watchin’ all the honeys!

  18. wannstache says: Sep 14, 2012 3:52 PM

    Declining revenues would motivate any good businessman to rectify the situation quickly. Apparently Ross isn’t a good businessman. This is hitting him right in the wallet, and he still lets Ireland continue on his endless rebuilding plan to nowhere. Makes no business sense.

  19. bsizemore68 says: Sep 14, 2012 4:19 PM

    You would expect that Ross would be counting his money, but no, he wants to be Jerry Jones Light. Bill

  20. finsfrenzy says: Sep 14, 2012 4:25 PM

    Ross is an idiot, and the team stinks, they continue to trade away and lose their high draft picks, Ireland subtracts and does nothing to rectify the situation, it’s awful…..and I’m a fan.

  21. southontario says: Sep 14, 2012 4:25 PM

    Your comparing a Sunday afternoon game to a Monday night game? Hmmm…little more to do in Florida on a Sunday afternoon. Last years opener was on Monday night.

  22. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 14, 2012 5:03 PM

    Dolphin fans rather go outside in the incredible high heat and humidity than to have to sit inside and watch the debacle known as the Dolphins. Head coach Philbin has about as much charisma as an employee at the DMV.

  23. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 14, 2012 7:07 PM

    Does this “poor” rating mean that the NFL negotiated equal revenue shared contract for all TV income will be reduced for the Dolphins?

  24. gabagool984 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:15 AM

    What everyone fails to realize or even bring up is that the fins were getting blown out… And in the local market the FOX game was Redskins vs Saints and RG3 was running rampant… You’d be a fool to have the fins / texans game on…

  25. onetonsoup says: Sep 16, 2012 2:14 PM

    I’m a diehard Dolfan, but the fanbase as a whole has developed apathy for this team. 12+ years of foolish moves, ridiculous draft picks, silly trades, mundane offensive gameplans and stupid gimmicks have watered down this once proud and historic product.

    Mix in a baseball team with a new stadium, a Heat championship, a struggling local college powerhouse losing steam(UM) and you can see how this fanbase has lost interest in spending $50+ on tickets, $25+ to park, $8+ on a beer, just to see the local team lose.

    Give me my redzone channel that way I can watch some winning football. Kthankbai!

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