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.