When is a five-percent ratings drop good news? When other ratings drops had been a lot larger than that.
Via Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily, Thursday night’s game between the Broncos and Chargers generated a 9.9 overnight rating. That’s only a five-percent drop from last year’s 10.4 rating arising from a Week Six loss by the then-undefeated Falcons at New Orleans.
Both games competed against decisive MLB playoff contests. Last year’s Mets-Dodgers NLDS Game Five drew a 5.8 rating on TBS. In 2016, the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS Game Five overnight rating slid to 3.8 on FS1, a 34-percent drop.
The NFL has experienced significant ratings declines in multiple prime-time games, in comparison to the similar slot from 2015. The reason for the drop isn’t clear; it’s likely that multiple reasons are combining to result in reduced TV viewership.