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Prime-time ratings crater again

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As NFL owners meet in Houston, here’s hoping they decide to devote real resources to figuring out why ratings are down, and what can be done to improve them.

The incentive to do so exists, without question. Monday night’s Jets-Cardinals game on ESPN generated a 6.3 rating, which represents a 34-percent drop from Giants-Eagles in Week Six of 2015. It’s also a 27-percent decline from 49ers-Rams in 2014.

Sunday Night Football on NBC struggled as well, with the 9.0 rating for Colts-Texans representing a 38.4-percent decline over Patriots-Colts from Week Six of the 2015 season. The 26-23 overtime win by the Texans, which was far less compelling than the outcome would suggest until late in the fourth quarter, was the lowest rated SNF game since Colts-Saints in 2011, a 62-7 New Orleans blowout over a Colts team that lacked Peyton Manning.

Despite widespread speculation regarding the potential reasons for the decline, quality and attractiveness of the games appear to be the primary factors. Cowboys-Packers on FOX, by far the most interesting game of the weekend, had a 13.6 rating — up more than 20 percent over last year’s Seahawks-Panthers Week Six late-afternoon FOX broadcast.

During Monday night’s game, ESPN’s Sean McDonough lamented the prevalence of yellow flags, suggesting it may be evidence of diminished fan interest.

“If we’re looking for reasons why TV ratings for the NFL are down all over the place, this doesn’t help,” McDonough said, via TheBigLead.com. “The way this game has been officiated is not something anybody wants to watch.”

Apart from the officiating, no one wanted to watch the one-win Jets sleepwalk their way to a 28-3 loss to Arizona, which entered the game at 2-3. In fairness to the league, Jets-Cardinals looked like a much better matchup in April than it became through five weeks.

That’s a byproduct of parity, where good teams can quickly become bad teams. And seemingly good games can quickly become bad games.

This weekend, another one-win team plays in primetime on Thursday night, when the Bears visit the Packers. Seahawks-Cardinals on Sunday night should generate plenty of interest, as should Texans-Broncos on Monday.

Regardless of the reasons, the league has every incentive to come up with real solutions. Which could/should include our seat-of-the-pants spitball regarding the selection of the Sunday night game on a week-by-week basis.

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178 Responses to “Prime-time ratings crater again”
  1. vbe2 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:16 PM

    Ratings will continue to drop, the players who dishonor our Vets and our Nation are killing their golden goose.

    Once you lose an audience, it’s hard to get it back.

  2. djteknision1200 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:22 PM

    As I have mentioned many times, people have more options than to watch bad football. Some may want to blame the anthem protest but I don’t think that is the reason at all. The attendance at the games has not declined one bit since the protest. If fans are not willing to watch on TV because of the so-called protest, why would the want to spend hard earned money at the game??

  3. Brown Anchor says: Oct 18, 2016 5:22 PM

    To be fair, hardly any of the primetime games have been very exciting thus far.

  4. antkowiak666 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:23 PM

    NFL<NHL…………way more entertaining than that joke of a league that plays on Sundays:)

  5. greeneblitz says: Oct 18, 2016 5:25 PM

    Politics and entertainment do not mix. Keep dishonoring our country and reap what you sow.

  6. douchebigelow says: Oct 18, 2016 5:25 PM

    The protests have nothing to do with the decline in ratings. Liberal logic, if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth.

  7. macbull says: Oct 18, 2016 5:25 PM

    Too many ticky-tacky penalties and too many commercials are making NFL football un-watchable…imo.

  8. sumkat says: Oct 18, 2016 5:26 PM

    You know where ratings aren’t down? The first week of the NHL

    You know where players aren’t making political statements during the game? The NHL

  9. pheloniusphish says: Oct 18, 2016 5:26 PM

    Yep, haven’t watched a game since week two because of the kneelers. They have a right to protest anyway they want and I have right not to support their employer if said employer allows them to protest on the clock. If I went to work and held a protest, I would be fired. Maybe if they were not protesting a false narrative, they would get a little more support.

  10. lightninhopkins says: Oct 18, 2016 5:26 PM

    Yeahhh it has nothing to do with the anthem there big guy. Settle down.

  11. truthfactory says: Oct 18, 2016 5:27 PM

    “As NFL owners meet in Houston, here’s hoping they decide to devote real resources to figuring out why ratings are down, and what can be done to improve them.”
    —–

    Players aren’t the only ones with the right to protest… consumers have a voice too. While I’m still loyal in watching and rooting for my home team, I am turned off by what is happening throught the league and these players so I am not as motivated/ willing to turn on other national games especially with so many other options out there.

  12. jetsclaps says: Oct 18, 2016 5:28 PM

    The prime time games have all been terrible. I’m a die hard Jets fan, have never missed a game, but even i was surfing the Web on my phone in the 4th quarter.

  13. fwippel says: Oct 18, 2016 5:30 PM

    The NFL can keep telling itself that the anthem protests having nothing to do with the decline in ratings….at their own peril.

    Those New Yorkers need to get out of the city and spend some time in flyover country, where most of their fan base resides. They might learn something.

  14. possumsauce says: Oct 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    Whatever the reason, the fact is it’s about to get worse: the big holiday season AAA video game release calendar kicks off this week w/ the new versions of Battlefield and Civilization, both of which will sell millions of copies. There are plenty of folks who are going to have some pretty compelling alternative entertainment options for their leisure time.

  15. tjacks7 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    The game isn’t enjoyable to watch. Too many bad calls. Too many missed calls. Too many terrible rule changes. Too many commercials. Too many games on other days. Too many games at 10 a.m. Not enough football.

    I went from watching every game every Sunday and Monday night football… To football all day Sunday… To just watching when the team I follow plays and a few other decent games here and there… Who knows how long that’ll last.

    Goodel has ruined the sport. Hopefully the owners wake up and find someone to fix it before it’s too late.

  16. pheloniusphish says: Oct 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    djteknision1200 – Far more people watch football on TV than go to the stadium. And I don’t think anyone has looked at attendence to see if it was down. Or rather, the NFL probably has, but I haven’t seen the numbers published.

  17. skinsrock says: Oct 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    There are too many objectives in my life to sit around a TV all day and watch a team that isn’t mine. Could care less… That’s why they have a scoreboard… been there done it all… don’t need to see every fricken game like I was in my 20’s.

  18. nevalha says: Oct 18, 2016 5:31 PM

    It’s a few things, I think. The whole anthem thing seems to be more a straw that broke the camel’s back for some.

    – It starts with the length of the games. If you know anyone with an old VHS tape of a game, watch it and compare how fast the game goes to these days. At some point in there, certainly the last few years, we’ve crossed the point where we get to see a little football while watching our commercial programming.

    – All the various stoppages and reviews don’t help, though I sympathize with the idea of getting the call right. Still…

    – The endless off-field drama, seemingly championed by a league office that has an absolute gutter reputation now.

    – Changing viewing habits are an issue, but one I don’t think has been properly analyzed. More to the point, the league’s missteps are causing the first part of those changing habits: tuning out.

    – All the constant tinkering with the game – different PAT lines, different kickoff lines and rules, still no idea what constitutes a catch, etc.

    – That goes on a macro level, too – Thursday night games, the constant threat of expanded playoffs or (God help us) an eighteen week season when everyone’s teams can barely make it through the schedule as is. Football reached its zenith playing on Sundays, Mondays, and a sixteen week season with conference champs and wild cards, yet it’s not enough for the league office and owners. They flooded the market and drowned peoples’ enthusiasm.

    And that’s what Goodell’s tenure and his enablers in the ownership have wrought. You’ve all heard the term “killing the golden goose”, and if you have ever wondered what that looks like in action, study the NFL in the last ten years.

  19. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 18, 2016 5:32 PM

    I told ya.

    This isn’t only related to protests.

    This is related to NFL cheating scandals (tom brady), poor NFL officiating, football brain injury connection, and the slow gradual impending change of the racial majority favoring soccer.

    It’s only going to get worse (for football) in the next 15 years.

  20. beerbudsnbevo says: Oct 18, 2016 5:32 PM

    Deny it all you want NFL….

    I won’t watch a 49ers or Seahawks game, even if that’s all that is on. I will find something else to do.

    Kap and the others have their right to protest.

    My service to this country gave them that freedom.

    But you don’t disrespect the flag or the National Anthem.

    If you feel you are being mistreated, please find another home where strangers will put their lives on the line so you have your freedom.

  21. rocksolid33 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:34 PM

    Ratings will continue to drop, the players who dishonor our Vets and our Nation are killing their golden goose.

    Once you lose an audience, it’s hard to get it back.

    ______________________

    Can we please stop using this as an excuse??? This opinion has been beaten worse than the Browns! No one has stopped watching their team in their home city because of the protest against police brutality, which has nothing to do with the Veterans.

    People love to latch on to a bogus issue and pretend they are offended. Get outta here, clown.

  22. pftard says: Oct 18, 2016 5:34 PM

    This isn’t rocket science folks. The market is flooded. People have access to 3 games on Sunday and 1 game Monday night. The addition of Thursday night football as a standard will cut into the casual fan’s NFL enthusiasm, because it’s so readily available. Plus with the NFL’s ability to push game highlights in so many packages (NFL Network, streaming, twitter, etc.), it makes ‘catching the game’, less important, because they can get the content later.

    The irony of the NFL’s declining ratings, is the NFL itself.

  23. mattwalshvideo says: Oct 18, 2016 5:35 PM

    Thank Obama and Kapergimmick

  24. danceformemarionetteboy says: Oct 18, 2016 5:35 PM

    Jets vs Cardinals – a combined 3-7 coming into the game, one in last place and one second to last.

    And Texans vs Colts a combined 5-5 coming into the game and an AFC South match up.

    I don’t think you need a focus group to see what’s the problem here.

  25. danceformemarionetteboy says: Oct 18, 2016 5:36 PM

    BTW is that Bruce Arians in the picture?

  26. laukkanen5 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:37 PM

    too many refs- Booger or Boger or whatever and Hochuli think people watch to see them throw 20 flags a game…
    throw in thurs, sun night, mon night, 2 rounds on sunday and a few am sunday guys…

    to the guys who say I can watch football 365 days a year, I applaud you, i love the Steelers but 16 times a year is enough….

    mostly people hate Goodell…I mean give Brady 4 and Ben a bunch never charged, but originally give Ray “boom boom” Rice 2 games….insane/

  27. exinsidetrader says: Oct 18, 2016 5:37 PM

    The best way to protest something you find objectionable is to not give it money. It is a small protest, but one anyone can make.

    The NFL should try the opposite approach to what it is doing and announce that it will celebrate the country and those that serve it on the front lines and will no longer give heed to the fascistic Social Justice Warriors that are so damaging Western society. Do that and I bet you will have the best ratings of the year to date.

  28. eglsfan says: Oct 18, 2016 5:39 PM

    the matchups have kinda blown

  29. exinsidetrader says: Oct 18, 2016 5:39 PM

    djteknision1200 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:22 PM

    As I have mentioned many times, people have more options than to watch bad football. Some may want to blame the anthem protest but I don’t think that is the reason at all. The attendance at the games has not declined one bit since the protest. If fans are not willing to watch on TV because of the so-called protest, why would the want to spend hard earned money at the game??
    _________________
    Because they already bought the tickets some time ago.

  30. remizak says: Oct 18, 2016 5:39 PM

    I’m sure there are some people who have switched off because of the protests, but I don’t think that’s the real issue. It’s never just one thing.

    That old No Fun League name is more true every year. This complete BS about celebrations is so typical. The League wants to turn the players into nameless, faceless pieces on a game board, but fans want to see real people who are into the game and acting like that.

    There are too many teams playing really lousy football this season. Yeah, there’s a winner and a loser in every game, but so far this year the losers are too often losing really ugly and even the winners often don’t look any too good.

    And the constant commercials are so annoying. It’s not quite as bad this year with the gambling ads, but if I have to see even ONE more of those it’s too many. It all just reminds me of the complete hypocrisy of the League, which is not what I want to think about.

    Mark Cuban said that owner/League greed would kill the NFL in 10 years. It’s beginning.

  31. psubeerman21 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:39 PM

    People in this country are way to sensitive towards everything. Who cares if a washed up nobody kneels during the anthem? Only ESPN and other media outlets who choose to make it a big deal. It shouldn’t matter what he does before or after the game, he is an athlete and the only thing that should matter is what he does during the game. So get over it.

  32. weepingjebus says: Oct 18, 2016 5:40 PM

    “Ain’t never seen anyone so stupid as you driving off that cliff. You musta got manure for your brains.”
    “Yeah, well, I’m from the league office. So, how’re the ratings? Come on, come on, how much?”
    “How much you got?”
    “No, I’m asking how the ratings are.”
    “And I’m asking you how much you got!”

  33. mancinibread says: Oct 18, 2016 5:40 PM

    Wow, people really think this had anything to do with “protests”??? Anyone with half a life couldn’t even tell you which players/teams were protesting to begin with. Too many commercial interruptions plus very low interest games, period.

  34. getadealdonealready says: Oct 18, 2016 5:40 PM

    Maybe when you over saturate the market (football 3-4 nights a week) you see diminished returns.

    Also poor officiating becomes more apparent as technology increases in and out of stadium, and then just too many commercials to pay those bills.

    Also DVR……tough to spend 4 hours watching a sporting event when you can fly through and get all you need to know in 15 min.

  35. jaymeister says: Oct 18, 2016 5:41 PM

    ” Seahawks-Cardinals on Sunday night should generate plenty of interest, as should Texans-Broncos on Monday”.

    Perhaps in Seattle and Arizona, and the Texans against Broncos? They may have winning records, but they are brutal to watch. Mark my words, this time next week, we will be talking about how neither of these games generated much national interest and ratings, if not down from this week, are down from last year.

  36. stealthjunk says: Oct 18, 2016 5:41 PM

    Has anyone seen a Fan Duel or Draft Kings ad lately? Therein lies your answer to the question of why ratings are declining so rapidly from one year ago (and why one year ago they were increasing so rapidly from the year before).

  37. ddawatson says: Oct 18, 2016 5:43 PM

    “I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” Cuban said Sunday evening when his pregame conversation with reporters, which covered a broad range of topics, swayed toward football. “I’m just telling you: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy.

    “Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule No. 1 of business.”

    – Mark Cuban: With TV deal, NFL is ‘hoggy’
    Mar 24, 2014

  38. babyjunkie says: Oct 18, 2016 5:43 PM

    Is more people going to the games instead?

  39. averagjoe says: Oct 18, 2016 5:44 PM

    And the one thing everyone is scared to mention is the NFL’s tacit approval of Kaepernick’s behavior by saying “he has the right”. That’s a cop out. Most NFL fans are hard working, two-fisted, beer drinking good ol’boys, whether city or country, many of whom lost friends, sons and brothers in various wars, and it just doesn’t sit well with them to see players who earn more in a year than they earn in a lifetime complain about the flag and the National Anthem representing oppression. I personally do not turn on a game until after the first few minutes of the broadcast to avoid having to watch these spoiled brats get their national exposure.
    Well, listen up Roger, and your executive committee, and owner’s circle. Yes, your spoiled brats have a right to flaunt their freedoms, and I have my right to turn your product off.

  40. imthepostman says: Oct 18, 2016 5:45 PM

    – Too many bad teams. Only 3 or 4 look like real Super Bowl contenders
    – QB play is flat out AWFUL
    – No storylines for the primetime games
    – Over penalized players, incompetent refs that stop game flow
    – Too many commercials

    The product is just bad this year.

  41. spillertime21 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:46 PM

    ESPN should make their pregame show a few hours longer, and add a few more hosts.

    Then they should add 4 more “experts” and 11 more “insiders” to the line up.

    (The post I just wrote was first reported by PFT and confirmed by ESPNs Adam Shefter)

  42. sumkat says: Oct 18, 2016 5:46 PM

    pheloniusphish says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:31 PM
    djteknision1200 – Far more people watch football on TV than go to the stadium. And I don’t think anyone has looked at attendence to see if it was down. Or rather, the NFL probably has, but I haven’t seen the numbers published.

    ______

    True. At best, you can get a look at ticket sales, but this isn’t MLB with 80 some home games. Those tickets were sold 6-7 months ago. Only the NFL knows how many people are actually going through the turnstile, and if it’s down, I doubt they are going to want to advertise the fact

  43. absolutevisuals says: Oct 18, 2016 5:47 PM

    The match ups SUCK!

    I saw Texans & Colts, and decided I’d catch up on game of thrones instead.

  44. dannyabramowitz says: Oct 18, 2016 5:49 PM

    NO, THE PROTESTS ARE THE “PRIMARY FACTOR.” Why can’t the media admit this, oh yeah, they side with the protesters, so they would be blaming themselves.

  45. sirmetaphor says: Oct 18, 2016 5:50 PM

    Start penalizing the disrespectful players who can’t stand for the flag which symbolizes a country that allows them to make millions playing a game.

    Stop penalizing the players who (over)celebrate.

    We watch to have fun. It’s becoming less and less fun to watch games. Less politics in sports is a good thing.

    I recommend starting sooner rather than later. People will realize quickly that they can enjoy Sundays without being glued to the TV, and they may not come back.

  46. kenmasters34 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:51 PM

    While I don’t agree with the protests, its not the reason I have stopped watching.

    I have simply lost interest in watching, though I still read about football. Way too many flags. Rules that are not enforced consistently(football move, catch/no catch, fumble, defenseless receivers). Baldino treating fans like idiots. Neutering of the defense. Taking away the most exciting play in football(kickoffs).

    And last, but definitely not least. Goodell. Since Framegate, Goodell has way too much power, and has been abusing it. They way they hammered the chiefs but slapped the Jets on the wrist for tampering, and now fines for excessive celebration? Its just too much.

  47. phx1sjc says: Oct 18, 2016 5:51 PM

    It’s the commercials dummies. There’s a break after every TD, after every PAT, after every kickoff, after every punt, after every timeout….

  48. canetic says: Oct 18, 2016 5:51 PM

    Let’s see. Celebrating after a TD? That’s a flag. Hard hitting? That’s a flag. Playing defense? That’s a flag.

    The quality of the coaching and QB’s is also atrocious.

  49. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Oct 18, 2016 5:52 PM

    Bring back Tebow and ratings will come back.

  50. bearclaw69 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:52 PM

    What’s wrong, Mike? Beginning to fear that your constant support of players, no matter what they have done, is not going to save your precious job here? (Hint: it won’t). The main reason is that players are not allowed to celebrate so we can’t see real personalities anymore, and you are FORCED to watch 7 minutes of commercials for every 3 minutes of football. That has become mind-numbing and has taken most of the fun out of watching football on TV. Guess what? Maybe the owners and the players are both going to get to make millions or billions of dollars every year anymore. OMG, whatever will they do?

  51. fordmandalay says: Oct 18, 2016 5:53 PM

    The TV ratings drop has nothing to do with players rightfully protesting out of control, militarized and unrestrained police forces murdering citizens throughout the country with no repercussions. It’s because people are sick of seeing the NFL constantly saturating viewers with constant pro-military propaganda, right wing billionaire owners screwing over the fans with moving or threatening to move teams unless cities pay hundreds of millions of dollars, and subjecting us to horrible country music.

  52. briang123 says: Oct 18, 2016 5:53 PM

    They had the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer at halftime of the the Eagles-Giants game. Nothing to see here. Move on people.

  53. jmdanieli says: Oct 18, 2016 5:53 PM

    This is related to NFL cheating scandals (tom brady),
    ==================================
    Yes, what a scam that the NFL pulled on one of the greatest to play the game, starting with the lies about 11/12 footballs being under 2 PSI (which they were not).
    Interesting that numbers are down since the NFL FRAMED Tom!

  54. sirmetaphor says: Oct 18, 2016 5:54 PM

    mancinibread says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:40 PM
    Wow, people really think this had anything to do with “protests”??? Anyone with half a life couldn’t even tell you which players/teams were protesting to begin with. Too many commercial interruptions plus very low interest games, period.

    __________________

    Dig a little deeper through some popular online forums. This definitely has to do with the protests. The NFL’s target audience is mostly ‘All American’ guys, not flag burning liberals.

  55. thetooloftools says: Oct 18, 2016 5:55 PM

    So it is ok to take a knee during the national anthem.
    And the NFL denied to let the Dallas Cowboys honor the Police who were murdered on their helmets or let players celebrate in the end zone after scoring taking away a euphoric human emotion.
    These owners are the acorn guys.
    They don’t get it.
    Goodell is a knob.

  56. We'reFineThere says: Oct 18, 2016 5:56 PM

    Too many commercials, flags, and games. I used to get excited for the weekend but now it feels like there’s a game every night, which is overwhelming and the exact reason why I stopped watching baseball.

    Just speculation but I think 2015 might have been the NFL’s peak for reasons other than apathy/kneeldowns. The explosion of Daily Fantasy last year was real but it has already lost it’s luster.

    So I think when people don’t have as much money at stake, or reason to talk about it at the watercooler (Did you see last night’s game… 3x a week!?)… there’s less reason to watch.

  57. Bubbalicious says: Oct 18, 2016 5:56 PM

    Nothing but sour grapes out of this league, Deflategate, player disrespect of the flag, rule changes so its almost flag football. After 40 + years of watching I’m close to being done with the NFL. Every time I see a group of players take a knee I just go ahead and switch the channel and find something else to entertain me. Hasn’t hurt at all and I discovered I can survive just fine without the NFL!

  58. lusdawg says: Oct 18, 2016 5:58 PM

    Nobody trusts Goodell and the owners. Period.

  59. iaintsaying says: Oct 18, 2016 5:59 PM

    I’m as a die hard NFL fan as anybody. And it has been the kneelers for me. When they started showing that I changed the channel and started watching baseball and totally spaced the football game. I had fantasy players in that game, but discouragement goes a long way.

  60. oldcracker says: Oct 18, 2016 5:59 PM

    3 hours of commercials, interrupted with a few plays, only to have them called back due to a penalty or a review.

    Games in London with more planned for Mexico and China? The owners have bled this pig dry.

  61. balt88 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:00 PM

    The league can deny it but the “protests” are having an effect.

    When the players of a game are seen as un-patriotic and un-American it’s going to turn off a lot of people who are already tired of the over commercialization and dictatorship like approach of Goodell.

    The teams may be making money but Goodell and the protests are killing their market.

  62. justintuckrule says: Oct 18, 2016 6:02 PM

    It’s not the protests. Dude above nailed it. The stadiums are still full. Why do you posters keep insisting that it’s the protests when the facts directly contradict you??

    The game is unwatchable. Everything is a penalty, followed by a commercial and a review. The best part of the game is the final 2 minutes of each half. The reviews of every play rob the game of flow and drama.

    Here’s one of my solutions. Referee penalty calls of all dead ball fouls and no-brainer acceptances are so 1982. Just march it off as you announce it and let play continue.

  63. gambinofv says: Oct 18, 2016 6:04 PM

    By looking at comments I didn’t know so many girls watch football. No veterans care what Kap. Is doing only these girls with there panties in a bunch.

  64. singletitle says: Oct 18, 2016 6:04 PM

    It’s unfortunate that a significant number of the commenters do not understand that the right of peaceful protest is a civil right.

    NFL ratings are down because a) game officiating is the worst it’s ever been in the league’s history, b) too many commercials in broadcasts are actually cutting into game coverage, and c) the prime-time matchups aren’t worth turning on the TV to see.

    Those watching Seattle-Atlanta on Sunday were treated to no commercials for the first 25 minutes of the broadcast. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues, or the NFL believes they just can’t do without yet more beer and ED commercials.

  65. whatevnfl says: Oct 18, 2016 6:06 PM

    I think how the League has handled things like deflategate, player safety, touchdown celebrations, terrible leadership from the top down, and all the other lame, self-important ways the league makes the game about themselves has hurt interest and ratings far more than a few players taking a knee.

  66. hawkforlife says: Oct 18, 2016 6:08 PM

    Some thoughts above have merit others just asinine.

    Why does no one, including PFT, say this; How many terrible teams play in the major TV markets. Do you really think the average guy/gal living in Chicago, New York, Miami, LA (I bet St. Louis numbers are way down) is going to keep tuning in year after year to watch the Bears, Jets, Rams, Dolphins and I’ll even include the Giants since they’re about as exciting as dry bread play pathetic football?

    Without those markets the NFL better get used to low ratings nationally.

  67. nunchuckanorris says: Oct 18, 2016 6:10 PM

    Politcal agendas and too many flags are 2 of the reasons i have kind of quit watching as much this year. I am sure not everyone agrees with me as i am just one of millions of viewers, but that’s my personal reasoning.

  68. djvh2 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:11 PM

    Mike, you’ve posted numerous stories on the decline and gotten hundreds of comments each time. Even if you don’t want to believe the most common one, there are many other reasons viewership is down. Capture the data in a useful format and sell it to the owners. You might as well make some money off of it.

  69. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:12 PM

    1. The most corrupt, vile commission of any modern American sports league who has fabricated scandals against the Pats twice, New Orleans, Washington, Dallas and Miami, lying over and over again through each of them.

    2. The softening of the game led by lawyers and said corrupt commissioner.

    3. The vast, disgusting greed of the scumbag owners.

    4. Horrible behavior by many players off the field.

    There’s nothing to debate. Those 4 things add up to screw you nfl, I’m finding something else to do with a lot of my spare time.

    I used to watch every possible game, now I watch only the Pats games and often only parts of those I’ve been so busy lately.

  70. joetoronto says: Oct 18, 2016 6:15 PM

    Please stop telling us the protests have nothing to do with ratings going down.

    We know what bothers us, we don’t need you to tell us.

  71. npadln says: Oct 18, 2016 6:16 PM

    Need to fine and suspend Brady again.
    Yeahhhh, that’s the ticket!

  72. macdaddyspeed says: Oct 18, 2016 6:17 PM

    Having been reading all these great comments.
    Conclusion: Death by a thousand paper cuts.

  73. bencoates57 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:19 PM

    We all want to punish Roger & Co for DeflateGate

  74. craigruby20 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:23 PM

    Cold hard truth: football fans like violence. Most big hits are penalties now. Boring. Similar to if boxing outlawed punches to the head.

  75. mrclaytonbigsby says: Oct 18, 2016 6:27 PM

    I’m tired of watching commercials with a little bit of football sprinkled in.

  76. dannyabramowitz says: Oct 18, 2016 6:28 PM

    The NFL made a cardinal mistake — instead of pleasing its CUSTOMERS by stopping players from protesting, it’s trying to please those who don’t watch football (i.e., the MEDIA) by allowing and praising the protests. That is why ratings are falling and will continue fall.

  77. skins99 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:31 PM

    Maybe the league can tell the refs that people don’t want to sit up all night and watch them throw ticky-tack flags just so they can pose in front of the camera. This guy last night looked like he couldn’t wait to throw another flag so he could strike a pose. I tune in to watch football, not Jerome Booger

  78. iceracer2015 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:32 PM

    The NFL can tout stats which show overall game time averages are largely unaffected the last few years.

    I don’t care about that data.

    The game feels soooooooo much longer. Don’t show me referees under hods. Show me other game highlights. Show me score breakdowns. Heck, sprinkle in a couple commercials.

    For my local game:

    – Get the refs off my screen.
    – More highlights from games important to the teams playing (division rivals, next week’s opponent…. like that)

    – Oh. And less over-coverage of garbage teams with big names and little game

    – Coverage is too “hater-directed”. Back off the schaudenfreude a bit.

  79. Bubbalicious says: Oct 18, 2016 6:35 PM

    Yes, players right to civil protest, my commercial right to not want to watch it and turn it off in protest! and if you think its not hurting the ratings you are not being honest with yourself. I know plenty of people that turn it off because of it or have jut scaled back their watching because they are soured by things like this. Protest on your own time. You’re paid to play football! Simple as that!

  80. realfann says: Oct 18, 2016 6:35 PM

    I watched a half of a game on Sunday before the adverts, idiot referees, and idiot commentators, forced me to switch it off.

    I really don’t need to see a dozen sweaty old men tell me what I’ve just seen. They are all awful. No exceptions.

    And the adverts, over and over and over and over and over again.

    Then the really, really, stupid penalty calls deciding the result of games.

    Even soccer is better than this rubbish.

  81. deneb1973 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:37 PM

    The officiating crew last night was brutal; penalties are to keep the game an even contest and protect the players – not to ensure a perfect game yet the officials seem to be striving to find every infraction instead of those that influence the game or safety. The endless merchandizing is another problem – Jerry Jones started it and now each team seems to have a weekly new cap or uniform. Goodell also forgot that we watch the game to escape the politics and problems of the outside world – not to make the game a stage for those problems. The quality of many of the games is putrid; the owners gave up quality of the product for money in the last CBA. And we now have a Commissioner who sneers at justice and the fans. Sooner or later the owners will see that Goodell is the problem – not the solution, but by then I expect the NFL will follow the NHL into irrelevance.

  82. skunkb3ar says: Oct 18, 2016 6:39 PM

    rocksolid33 says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:34 PM
    Ratings will continue to drop, the players who dishonor our Vets and our Nation are killing their golden goose.

    Once you lose an audience, it’s hard to get it back.

    ______________________

    Can we please stop using this as an excuse??? This opinion has been beaten worse than the Browns! No one has stopped watching their team in their home city because of the protest against police brutality, which has nothing to do with the Veterans.

    People love to latch on to a bogus issue and pretend they are offended. Get outta here, clown.
    —————————————————————-

    Police brutality can not entirely be done away with. It is impossible. You address each (much less common than the media and the DEMs would have you believe) as it occurs and punish the bad cop/fire him/charge him, etc.

    Much like racism, racism will never go away, no matter what you do. And newsflash, being ignorant is not illegal. It is not illegal to be racist.

    Bottom line, bad cops need to be dealt with, and they are. The media makes it seem like it happens 4 times a day when in fact it is like 1 or 2 times every couple years.

    I bet you are one of the people who bring up Michael Brown (justified shooting) or Trayvon Martin (not a police interraction) in your “debates.” SMH

  83. razzlejag says: Oct 18, 2016 6:41 PM

    The 17 minutes of actual play is sandwiched into approximately 193 minutes of commercials.

  84. youknowiknowitall says: Oct 18, 2016 6:42 PM

    When the commissioner of the league continually spouts off about “integrity” while repeatedly getting called out in Federal Court for lying, fails to deliver the “transparency” he promises, presides over stupid changes to the rules including some on-field calls now being made from the offices of NFL HQ back in Contamination City, a certain feeling that things aren’t always on the up-and-up these days is bound to emerge.

    I used to enjoy everything about football but the crooked Goodell and his HQ hacks have ruined the game for me. Now, when I do tune in, rather than to see the quality of play, I mostly do so to see the inevitable train wrecks.

  85. skunkb3ar says: Oct 18, 2016 6:42 PM

    gambinofv says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:04 PM
    By looking at comments I didn’t know so many girls watch football. No veterans care what Kap. Is doing only these girls with there panties in a bunch.
    ——————————————————————–

    Actually by and large the only “veterans” who support Kap are the ones who never saw combat. Females, supply clerks, cooks….

    Any idea what other demographic they typically share?

    Vetsforkap is a total out of context media construct.

    -From a combat infantryman.

  86. dreadnok89 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:43 PM

    Stadiums aren’t full. We’re not blind

  87. trollkiller55 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:43 PM

    mattwalshvideo says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:35 PM
    Thank Obama and Kapergimmick

    ___________________________________

    cant be Obama–he was busy causing Hurricane Matthew and the earthquake in Italy

  88. hokies4life says: Oct 18, 2016 6:44 PM

    What protest are y’all seeing lol? I haven’t seen them show one in at least a couple of weeks

  89. harvestern says: Oct 18, 2016 6:44 PM

    How about mentioning the fact that overall viewership is not actually down. The same number of people are watching as last year, but the drop in ratings is due to people not watching games as long as they have in the past. There is zero data that suggests that there is any significant numbers of people boycotting the NFL due to anthem protests like many here like to constantly suggest. Plus regional broadcasts haven’t dropped at all.

  90. TheBrownswillstinkagain says: Oct 18, 2016 6:46 PM

    The fact the ratings are down is the NFL is flat out unwatchable. Horrible play on the field, fixed corrult officiating by 345 Park Ave, a corrupt Commissioner, corrupt Owners, 9 million timeouts, commercials and penalties.

    Protests have nothing to do with the decline in ratings

  91. bucsorbust says: Oct 18, 2016 6:53 PM

    The NFL’s die-hards post here and none of them are saying “wow, I’m surprised.” So here’s what the owners/NFL need to do (sarcasm please):
    – Raise the prices of game tickets more so the ham-and-eggers can just dream of one day actually going to games.
    – Set aside 20 minutes before every game to allow the players time at the microphone to address fans with their political and social concerns.
    – Double the commercial breaks to more thoroughly break up the excitement of the game with opportunities for fans to review their consumer needs.
    – Put monogram “RG” on every left jersey sleeve for “Roger Goodell” so we all know why the players are there.
    – Ban all jubilant celebrations, including “high fives” since these only incite violence and unprofessionalism–absolutely no dances or leaps or rolls or anything else fans may have enjoyed in the past.
    – Completely jack up the play book some more so no fan has any clue whether a play will stand or not. The excitement only should come when the ref speaks, not when the play happens.

    Yup, NFL owners, do that and you’ll get the whole enchilada.

  92. campcouch says: Oct 18, 2016 6:53 PM

    If you think minor protests are the reason, then those dudes have gotten their message into your head. Bad teams, bad officiating, football 365 days a year (must we hear about player and his speeding ticket in May?), heck, the NFL has its own network to go with the other ones broadcasting, playing games overseas, greedy owners, backstabbing owners, greedy players, cheats, bad rule changes, power mad commissioner, I can’t even buy a jersey because I have no clue if the guy will be on the team next season. Football used to be simple and a treat to watch. Now we have pro and college football five out of seven days a week. Maybe it’s just oversaturation. Ask Mark Cuban.

  93. jag1959 says: Oct 18, 2016 6:55 PM

    lusdawg says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:58 PM
    Nobody trusts Goodell and the owners. Period.
    ________________________

    That, the election cycle and, judging by the comments, for some it’s the protests. The commercials, pace, officiating, some bad matchups and replay controversies are no different from previous years. That very little voice is being given by the media to the fact that many of us are now questioning the validity of the game results is surprising. I am in my early 60’s and have been avidly following the NFL for 50 years, never before have I questioned the sanctity of the actual product on the field. The gang that can’t shoot straight’s constant underhanded methods and outright lies now have me to that point.

  94. Pete Carroll is a 9/11 truther says: Oct 18, 2016 6:56 PM

    The MLB playoffs are unusually good this year, with all four LCS teams having relatively long championship droughts, and those games are competing with the NFL for a change.

  95. mark4steelers says: Oct 18, 2016 6:58 PM

    The league allows it’s players to disrespect our Country, owners use referees to manipulate the outcome of games, continuously force-feeding special interest’s political agendas & constantly taking games to other Countries…frankly, dilutes interest. Contrary to the beliefs of ‘Media Matters’ minded Libs…people aren’t cattle looking to the NFL for a moral compass.

  96. JSpicoli says: Oct 18, 2016 7:00 PM

    Yeah, just bad luck and variance. Nothing to see here, move along.

    Don’t tread on me.

  97. nunchuckanorris says: Oct 18, 2016 7:04 PM

    Fans are never into the game as much when there is instant replay btw. It used to be a bunch of yelling back and forth at your friends saying it was/was not a catch (or whatever you’re arguing) now there is none of that spirited enjoyment because there are 5 angles and 5-10 minutes or replays and commercials following ever controversial play. I’m torn on whether i like the plays getting called correctly or letting the human element of officiating be a part of the game like it used to be. On top of that, replay doesn’t even get it right sometimes so it is just a total waste of time. Football needs to be hard hitting excitement and yelling at your tv and talking smack to your friends. Not commercial after replay after penalty after flag after commercial after penalty after field goal after…..well, you get my drift

  98. JSpicoli says: Oct 18, 2016 7:06 PM

    All the commercials, DVR’s, officiating failures and online options existed already. One thing changed this year and I find if fascinating that the MSM will not acknowledge it.

    Stupid or Liars? Your choice.

  99. theuncletodd says: Oct 18, 2016 7:06 PM

    Hey NFL…way to water down the product…Sun..AM/PM, Mon, and Thursday—that and inane rule changes that even those bozos in stripes can’t get straight…The goose is close to dying and you have nobody but yourself to blame.

  100. monkeyodeath says: Oct 18, 2016 7:07 PM

    The league is in a Catch-22 situation with the CTE stuff. Lots of parents are already discouraging their kids from playing football because of it. Young athletes are going to choose sports that don’t leave them wheelchair-bound and drooling at 55.

    At the same time, that violence is what people want to see. Football without big hits and kickoffs is just an unwatchable commercial-fest — nobody’s got that kind of attention span anymore.

    NFL action is slowing down while the rest of the entertainment world is speeding up. The owners are trying to monetize every opportunity they have because I think they know that the good times are coming to an end.

    Time for the US to embrace rugby?

  101. silverhat78 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:08 PM

    The refs flag everything, too many commercials and way too much politics in NFL football. People have had enough and tune out.

  102. justintuckrule says: Oct 18, 2016 7:12 PM

    joetoronto says:
    Oct 18, 2016 6:15 PM
    Please stop telling us the protests have nothing to do with ratings going down.

    We know what bothers us, we don’t need you to tell us.
    —-
    Fair enough but I bet you and the others are still watching and I’ll bet my left one that you’re not getting off your couch during the anthem. It’s faux outrage.

    The games stink. The pace of play stinks. There’s no hitting. Too many flags. Unevenly enforced rules. Rules that nobody understands. Rules that shouldn’t be enforced at certain times (i.e., the ticky tack defensive hold on a 5yd out route on 3rd and 19.) The big market teams all suck. Too many commercials. Too many replays (much of plays nobody cares about – was he down by contact on the INT or should he advance the ball 5yds further?). The list goes on and on.

  103. dbell0467 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:13 PM

    Florio, add a fan survey on why viewing is down or what bothers the fans most.

    My concern is the # of penalties, whereas during the playoffs I get the distinct feeling that the refs let the teams play.

  104. jackedupboonie says: Oct 18, 2016 7:13 PM

    Having the Cardinals on every other week isn’t helping a thing. Owners need to go to full season flex and get the trash tucked into the 10 am pacific Sunday time slot

  105. meditatingamigo says: Oct 18, 2016 7:14 PM

    Ratings are down because the NFL has over saturated the market. Most people don’t have the time to watch all of the games that the NFL is trying to force on us. Get rid of the Thursday Night games. The players don’t like it and the fans are barely tolerating it. Reduce the Sunday Night games to the last half of the season.

  106. curtis35w says: Oct 18, 2016 7:16 PM

    this is quite enjoyable to watch. Punish these spoiled brats who protest our national anthem or this will continue. Guaranteed!

  107. pjomega says: Oct 18, 2016 7:17 PM

    The product on the field sucks. The popularity of fantasy football helped spike the ratings. All the rule changes that were supposed to help create higher scoring may have attracted more casuals, but it has also alienated the real, die hard football fans. I still watch my team, but that’s it. I used to watch football all day on Sundays, pre and post game coverage and highlights. But it is no longer fun to watch. To much officiating , too many flags, it just sucks. Since I’ve stopped watching all day, I’ve discovered other things to do with my time on Sundays. I know for a fact I’m not the kind my fan feeling this way. I think it will eventually go the way of baseball, where fans just watch their teams, and then tune in for the playoffs

  108. granadafan says: Oct 18, 2016 7:19 PM

    douchebigelow says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:25 PM
    The protests have nothing to do with the decline in ratings. Liberal logic, if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth.
    ============================================

    What on earth are you talking about???? It’s the conservatives who are complaining about the protests, demanding that the players leave the country, and bashing league for not firing the protesters. Just look at the posts in this very own thread saying that protests are why they stopped watching.

  109. jackodn says: Oct 18, 2016 7:19 PM

    My long time viewership is down because of the entirely corrupt Goodell regime and their mouthpiece ESPN.

    Haven’t watched ESPN since Mort lied, and I only watch Pats games – and do so without paying DirectTV.

    The only way to effect change with billionaires is to hit them in the wallet. I choose to not attend games (went every year for over decade – air fare, hotel, restaurants, game parking, game ticket, concessions, etc.), and use that money for other entertainment. I don’t pay DirectTV nor buy NFL merchandise.

    It’s only a small drop in the bucket, but its what I choose to do.

  110. cowboy2016 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:24 PM

    Let the NFL die. Keep doing what you’re doing Goodell. Keep focusing on having women coaches, games in London and China, and transgender players. And make sure you get liberal political on us and tell us how to vote. And can we have more flags and less player celebrations? Great!

  111. nufcedmcgreevey says: Oct 18, 2016 7:24 PM

    No one cares about Players kneeling and they don’t show them anymore so that’s not the problem. Games are flag fests that disrupt the flow of game. Anytime a good play happens you have to look for flags. The old saying if you don’t notice referees during a game they are doing the job. This year refereeing is awful. Hands to face, PI, defensive holding, offensive holding, push offs etc. it’s excruciating to stay focused on game. Goodell sks too!

  112. GhostPepper says: Oct 18, 2016 7:27 PM

    Want better ratings?

    1. Let coaches drill tackling more during training camp with more padded practices.

    2. Move kickoffs back

    3. Get rid of defensleas reciever rules.

    4. Baby QBs less.

    5. Let players celebrate touchdowns again without all the 15 yard penalties.

  113. reddzen says: Oct 18, 2016 7:28 PM

    douchebigelow says:
    Oct 18, 2016 5:25 PM
    The protests have nothing to do with the decline in ratings. Liberal logic, if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth.

    ____

    You got that backwards. That is conservative logic. Liberals actually believe the First Amendment applies in most cases and respects the right of people to protest. Liberals also accept people who don’t follow doctrine into their tent. It is inclusive. Liberals also wonder what is worse? A few athletes exercising that constitutional right or the NFL itself having to refund the US Military $300k for charging them for patriotic celebrations before games.

    I fought for those rights, and respect everyone’s right to express them, whether I agree or not.

    Oh. And viewership is likely done because the games suck. Parity…yeah. It’s almost becoming like Ohio State versus University of the Unknowns week after week. Plus games in London, maybe China one day.

    SMH

  114. exinsidetrader says: Oct 18, 2016 7:29 PM

    GET. ME. TEBOW!

  115. rportkid says: Oct 18, 2016 7:30 PM

    The corrupt commissioner and his buffoons have ruined the game. The NFL is imploding and they deserve it. A disgusting organization in so many ways. I was an avid fan for over 60 years and starting this year no longer watch NFL games. Now watch college football. Goodbye NFL.

  116. jag1959 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:30 PM

    JSpicoli says:
    Oct 18, 2016 7:06 PM
    All the commercials, DVR’s, officiating failures and online options existed already. One thing changed this year and I find if fascinating that the MSM will not acknowledge it.

    Stupid or Liars? Your choice.
    ___________________

    There is more than one thing different this year.

  117. theandy59 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:31 PM

    I think the idea that a handful of football players excercising their constitutional rights would cause viewers to tune out, but a cartel of billionaire owners extorting taxpayers to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds to finance their new stadiums doesn’t move the needle at all is idiotic. Frankly, I don’t think it’s either of those things, but I know the one I think is far more offensive. I’ve watched about 30 minutes of football this year that didn’t involve my team. The whole thing looks like a criminal racket.

  118. rocbills says: Oct 18, 2016 7:35 PM

    The NFL needs a Pat Tillman day.

  119. bspurloc says: Oct 18, 2016 7:37 PM

    .

    walking dead new season next sunday, those ratings will be in the dumps too

    What are the ratings for these pathetic England sunday morning games. I’m not watching any game early on a sunday, football starts at 1pm

    thursday ratings in the dumps…

  120. orangeraider says: Oct 18, 2016 7:42 PM

    Roger Goddell
    Too many missed calls
    Crappy match ups
    Too much publicity on social issues
    Too many commercials.
    ALL these have negative effects on TV ratings

  121. donreid1027 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:45 PM

    can’t touch a QB below the knees and above the waist, flags being thrown and not thrown depending on who it is against is causing the downfall of this league. Instead why not just go back to old rules? How many shots to the head does one boxer take in one bout compared to the shots a football player takes in a season? Get real people the pussification of this game is about dollars not player health. They all know what they are signing up for now. If you don’t want the risk don’t play forego the millions of dollars for a 9 to 5 job like most of the rest of us people this league is ripping off with this subpar product. Ratings will continue to drop like a rock.

  122. killbuck0936 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:46 PM

    Watching a team march down the field via penalty flags is excruciating.

  123. panthersfan2001 says: Oct 18, 2016 7:49 PM

    1. Millionaires protestesting Anthems–
    2. A kajillion commericals after 30 seconds of play.
    3. Really bad production values from really bad analysts
    4. Stinker games.
    5. Poor and inconsistant officiating.
    6. Boring games —
    7. Horrible play by play and color commentary (notice how everyone is awesome until they are behind by 20 points in the 4th).
    8. Ridiculous rules (like taunting and the what the hell is a catch weekly controversy).
    It’s becoming a bad product and don’t try to take the family to the game unless you want to drop a grand.

    Hockey is way better — Go Islanders!

  124. jkossrt says: Oct 18, 2016 7:56 PM

    Personally, I watch my home team and maybe I’ll catch a little of some other games. Maybe. I just really don’t have the desire to watch some much football anymore. Too many other things to do. I don’t mind players celebrating an important TD. But I AM sick to death of them celebrating a 4 yd gain and acting like the game would end without them.

    Too many flags, too many timeouts, games running way to long. Too many inane announcers that don’t do their homework (Spiro Dedes and Solomon Wilcotts) Too many really stupid pregame shows. Too many games during the week, too long a season. Quit thinking about London and other out of the country games. Go back to Sunday and Monday Night football ONLY! I’m in favor of shortening the season back to 14 games, making each game more important. Maybe reduce the # of playoff teams.

    Simplify the rules. Stop all the damn game stoppages. Although I am in favor of instant replay, it could be done way faster from the booth or a central office without slowing the game. It is important to get the call right. Works for the NHL. But that’s too simple a solution. TV viewers usually know what the call should be be the ref even goes under the hood.

    And I agree that the protests are not the main cause of the viewer declines. But I also agree that it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    None of this will ever happen though, because those in power will never consider them.

  125. pfatalbert says: Oct 18, 2016 7:58 PM

    I like the idea of calling them the “kneelers” – like they’re the “walkers” from The Walking Dead. Which starts back up soon. And I’m more excited for that than this mediocre watered-down football-lite.

  126. paochow says: Oct 18, 2016 8:06 PM

    I may only be one viewer, but I know why I’m not watching as much.

    Ignore my “protest” and I’ll stop watching all together.

    If a 34% ratings drop isn’t conduct detrimental to the league, then I don’t know what is.

  127. Exapno Mapcase says: Oct 18, 2016 8:12 PM

    The same teams winning year in and year out, horrible officiating, replay not correcting horrible officiating unless it’s super-duper “obvious” (or favoring the Steelers…), the tool 49ers QB, etc.

  128. rcali says: Oct 18, 2016 8:13 PM

    7.75 years of division, and growing stronger. What a legacy.

  129. jkhart says: Oct 18, 2016 8:17 PM

    I feel like I’m watching WWF from the late 90’s all over again. Boy it was fun for a while.

  130. paochow says: Oct 18, 2016 8:17 PM

    The NFL has more of an ability to compel players to stand than it does to force me to watch games.

  131. secretomen00 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:30 PM

    by reading some comments above, the obvious question is: where have all the smart people gone? my goodness, every american child should be required to take not one but several critical thinking courses, because this forum doesn’t seem to attract our best and brightest.

    to blame the decline on protests is moronic at best. if you stopped watching football because of protests, you probably weren’t a real football to begin with.

    is it possible that maybe football is due for a decline? i think it is. it’s been the king of sport for over 30 yrs. i’m not losing any sleep because of tv ratings. as long as i get to see my cowboys on tv, i’ll always be that little kid on the inside watching my team beat the broncos in super bowl xii.

    personally, i think there’s too much football on tv and i think commercialization is starting to hurt the game a bit. i don’t want to see football every day of the week. sundays and monday nights only please.

  132. chfranco says: Oct 18, 2016 8:36 PM

    Anyone that doesn’t think anthem not having an impact on ratings is nuts. Someone disputing protests said, no one is not watching their home team. Correct, but I won’t watch any other game. No afternoon game, no Sunday night, no monday, no Thursday!

  133. fmc651 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:36 PM

    Why schedule the Jets? That will kill ratings right there.

  134. haywoodjablomey says: Oct 18, 2016 8:38 PM

    The content of the games has become unwatchable.

    Flags, commercials, Joe Buck, rules upon rules upon rules and none of them can clearly define a catch

    I cut the cord long ago, largely as a protest to the NFL. Most subscribers don’t realize that 65% of their cable bill goes to sports. If the NFL won’t allow me to purchase a single game, then I see no reason to give them a dime. The owners and league are all fat enough.

  135. swedishfish14 says: Oct 18, 2016 8:55 PM

    No one seems to be talking about the average fan being priced out of a good seat at the stadium.
    Perhaps fans have truly realized that their money is all that matters to the NFL.
    Perhaps threats for $750 million dollars to keep a team have turned off some fans.
    Perhaps seeing a team leave on a contract technicality after the city built a stadium just 20 years ago has turned off another part of the fan base.
    In short, perhaps the fans are tired of supporting the greed that goes along with the NFL.

  136. kingpel says: Oct 18, 2016 8:55 PM

    My problem isn’t with Kaepernick but with NFL coverage as a whole. There is always some TMZ social issue that isn’t related to the on the field product that every media outlet that covers the NFL harps on throughout the week. I used to watch pregame as well as the games in all three time slots. Now I tune into watch the Rams and the rest of my day check in on scores with my phone.

    Get back to covering football. Put better games on prime time. Problem solved.

  137. exhelodrvr says: Oct 18, 2016 8:58 PM

    This hasn’t been a gradual decline- it’s a sharp drop off from last year. The biggest difference between 15 and 16 is the protests. That is clearly a significant factor.

  138. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 18, 2016 9:01 PM

    “Ratings will continue to drop, the players who dishonor our Vets and our Nation are killing their golden goose. ”

    So all those big tough vets can’t handle a little challenge to their pride?

    Besides, the protests ARENT ABOUT THEM. Vets and military-worshippers aren’t making themselves look very bright by getting upset about POLICE protests.

  139. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 18, 2016 9:04 PM

    YOu want to solve the protests?

    CUT THE ANTHEM.

    There is no logical reason why employees of a private corporation needs to engage in nationalistic showmanship before they begin their work day.

    Do YOU have to sing and salute before you start work?

    Better question – do YOU sing and solute when they play the anthem on TV?

    No? I guess you’re DISRESPECTING ‘MURKA!

  140. thefatlazygamer says: Oct 18, 2016 9:12 PM

    “1. Millionaires protesting Anthems–
    2. A kajillion commercials after 30 seconds of play.
    3. Really bad production values from really bad analysts
    4. Stinker games.
    5. Poor and inconsistent officiating.
    6. Boring games
    7. Horrible play by play and color commentary
    8. Ridiculous rules

    Add in injury riddled teams and that about covers it. Nothing that an 18 game seasons can’t fix, eh Roger?

    I used to watch every game I could in a week. Now I just watch one full game a week and parts of others or leave it on as background noise. It’s just boring to sit on the couch for 9-12 hours a week, it doesn’t feel exciting or must watch anymore. The league has been sterilized, doesn’t feel special anymore to me.

  141. littleseizures says: Oct 18, 2016 9:13 PM

    Who gives a crap if casual fans stop watching. So you’ll make 1 billion instead of 800 million. Boo hoo😥

  142. littleseizures says: Oct 18, 2016 9:14 PM

    Other way around. Too much crown and ginger ale.

  143. brimab says: Oct 18, 2016 9:16 PM

    Too many commercials, too many challenges/reviews. No one knows what a catch is anymore. Horrible announcers. It’s really not hard to figure out what’s going on. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

  144. i10east says: Oct 18, 2016 9:19 PM

    The declining NFL ratings right now in many ways remind me of the decline of the college bowl games (pre-playoff). Both have seen better days, and both are over saturated.

    I used to watch every college bowl game; now I only watch the playoff games, and gsmes that matter. I used to watch as many NFL games as I can; now I mainly watch my team, and a few competitive games here and there.

  145. hawkforlife says: Oct 18, 2016 9:19 PM

    How can the NFL and their meal ticket (advertisers) be so stupid. READ the above comments.

    We are your $$$$ !

    Oh, and get rid of Phil Simms.

  146. nomdeplume01 says: Oct 18, 2016 9:28 PM

    What were once great hits are no longer allowed, the days of Doug Plank and Gary Fencick being human missiles are long gone, now we get yellow flags and players protesting the flag of greatest country on earth, for which they should get a yellow flag. Priorities are all messed up, the audience is sick of the bogus new reporting on the major networks which has now inflected their sports broadcast. Used to laugh at Bagdad Bob, now he’s on the nightly national news every single night.

  147. aj66shanghai says: Oct 18, 2016 9:36 PM

    I get tired of the man love announcers have for certain players. And they always speak of them as though nobody had heard of them before, or that everyone watching Just woke up from a 30 year coma.

    I didn’t buy Gamepass this year but only because my deadbeat friend finally subscribed for once. I watch all the marquee matchups but there have been so few this year. Best one yet probably was Minnesota hosting Green Bay and had to mute it because I had heard enough about how dreamy Aaron Rogers is

  148. aj66shanghai says: Oct 18, 2016 9:41 PM

    Basically, when John Madden left the booth, the game died a little. None of the announcers anymore seem to even like the game. They have no enthusiasm for the fun of it like Madden did. They have all become relentless cheerleaders for certain players and constant shills for the league. Bo-ring. Basically the only time I have the volume on is for Seahawks games or playoffs

  149. Gdp says: Oct 18, 2016 9:52 PM

    How the hell can the owners blackmail cities for new stadiums with this going on.

  150. key740 says: Oct 18, 2016 10:59 PM

    Let me 1st say that I will always watch the NFL but in my opinion the main reason I turn off from some games is the poor quality matchups. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan and I’ll watch them and the rest of the NFC East. I think Brady and the Patriots are great but I don’t want to watch then beat up on the Browns or Bengals. Truly boring. I find the Bills more exciting nowadays. The Texans may have the same record as the Bills but I hate watching them and Osweiler. My point is that some teams and matchups are attractive but some are downright repulsive.

  151. tfootball1234 says: Oct 18, 2016 11:00 PM

    The last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism. look it up trump supporters.

  152. msstiller58 says: Oct 18, 2016 11:01 PM

    NFL is whistling in the dark…it’s not because of anthem BS…of course not

  153. thenetrat says: Oct 18, 2016 11:38 PM

    Come on guys, you now full well why the ratings are down. Multiple states have stopped fantasy football league “betting” on fanduel and draftking to name but two. There is zero other reasons.

  154. charger383 says: Oct 18, 2016 11:45 PM

    protests gave us a central reason to be mad at NFL for everything that is fouled up

  155. thereving7 says: Oct 19, 2016 12:05 AM

    The biggest reason for me are the refs. Either they are incompetent, which I doubt, because referring wasn’t this bad in the 90s or past decades was it? Refs should be progressing not declining over years and years. It looks too much as if these refs have orders from above, and I’m sick of it. This is the reason I dont watch as many games as before. I used to set up multiple televisions and watch 3 games at a time, all day. Now only watch my team.. if that. I usually lose interest in my teams game due to terrible calls by the referees. It just plain out seems fixed. Add this to commercials, greedy owners, loser Goodell, no celebrations, dumb fines, suspensions,

  156. Damidwesterner says: Oct 19, 2016 12:33 AM

    Nobody want to watch the dumpster fire that’s the Jets. It’s a wonder that Todd Bowels still has his job.

  157. #nastyswaggedout says: Oct 19, 2016 2:19 AM

    Westworld has been far more compelling than the NFL on Sunday night.

  158. seagawk says: Oct 19, 2016 5:57 AM

    I dropped cable a couple of years ago, and picked up NFL GamePass instead. There are easy ways to get around blackouts. Watch games live with commercials or wait a few hours until they are edited out. Watch what games you want when you want. Tired of commentary? Then opt for condensed games that omit the yak yak in-between plays.

    Protests are democratic. The right to have them is what makes America great. They are not disrespecting the flag, but moving the country forward. Think back about protests in past decades, how society has evolved, how ridiculous we now think people were to admonish the protesters back then. Put yourself on the right side of history.

    Look around the world. Militaries don’t protect freedom, constitutions do – and protests whether you believe in the cause or not.

    Go Hawks!

  159. frozenburritobuttsecks says: Oct 19, 2016 7:44 AM

    * you don’t have a cable subscription, you’re missing 2 games a week.

    * you don’t have a cable subscription, you watch on a stream.

    * On a stream, I don’t have to watch the commercials. Hey, i kinda prefer this method and I can browse during the breaks….

    * Oh the breaks…the time outs, the reviews, the commercials. Why bother watching when the action stops every few minutes?

    * Penalties have changed the game. Touch the quarterback, get a lawsuit and go to jail. Touch the receiver, automatic TD awarded. Who wants to watch zero tackling, poor effort defenses? We’re just watching padded 7on7.

    * Why has viewership for the Pro Bowl gone down in the last 30 years? Thats the answer for why regular season football now is declining

  160. joeldholsopple says: Oct 19, 2016 7:45 AM

    too many penalties.

    The growth in popularity of the college game. (FINALLY! Much more fun to watch)

    Players can’t express themselves (celebrate)

    Every game looks the same. All 32 offenses are carbon copies of each other.

    And the biggest reason….

    OVER-SATURATION! The NFL is on ALL THE DAMN TIME. Literally the only month of they year when NFL network doesn’t have live things to report on is early June. Other than than there is something every month. I said it in an earlier post, but the other 3 major sports, kind of fade into the background during their off seasons. Not the NFL. You got 24/7 coverage of the draft (which is now a 3 day prime time event. As opposed to the old ((better)) way of a two day event starting at 11 AM), 24/7 coverage of Mini camps, 24/7 coverage of THE COMBINE. The GD Combine!! Then you have Sunday games all day, Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night. Then late in the season, Saturday night. So when we get into December they’ll only be 3 days of the week where a game isn’t on. NFL, sometimes less is more.

  161. joeldholsopple says: Oct 19, 2016 7:50 AM

    I personally only watch the Bills anymore. The other games, I don’t even watch for fantasy reason at all anymore. My sister – in – law actually asked me last night who won Sunday night game (she took Arizona in an office pool) and I honestly couldn’t tell her who was even playing, let alone who won.

    Now NCAA football I can’ spout off who’s playing who, where, standings etc. It’s a much more fun game to watch and follow.

  162. blurocpurp says: Oct 19, 2016 8:31 AM

    I find it funny that the same conservatives who always complain about this country being too “soft” or that people are to “pc” or easily offended are the same people who are getting their undies in a bunch over a player simply taking a knee during the anthem. Why are you so easily offended? Why do players have to be politically correct and worship a piece of cloth? If you feel its disrespectful to our vets or our military etc etc, then it should also offend you THAT THE NFL CHARGES THE DOD AND NATIONAL GUARD for the fake pre game acts of patriotism! Why so hypocritical? They don’t even show these so called “protests” on tv anymore. Get over yourself and your love for a piece of cloth! and please stop telling people “if you don’t like it , then you should leave ‘Merica” LOL you sound like a racist stuck in the 1950s

  163. tm81blog says: Oct 19, 2016 9:09 AM

    I miss the days when it was about the team not the players themselves. Listening to these dudes spout off about politics, social issues and trash talking get old fast. ( this goes for Hollywood folks also!)
    As another person mentioned, everything is so expensive the average family can’t afford to go to games. For the league, owners and players it’s all about how much money they can make, in turn the game itself suffers.

  164. bigsaintdogs says: Oct 19, 2016 10:08 AM

    The league believes that younger people are watching on hand held devises. We know that is BS because there would not be the perceived panic.

    They deny the protests could have anything to do with it but look at what else is tanking. Movie Theater attendance.

    Entertainment is a diversion from the BS of every day life. Nobody, NOBODY, looks to entertainment to be forced a political opinion in any manor.

    There are plenty of diversions one can find that are not wagging a finger at you!

    Get back to football and work to make football better and the problem will solve itself. That will involve changing some faces around the NFLs New York offices.

  165. kmartin173 says: Oct 19, 2016 10:09 AM

    All these BS excuses….there’s only 1 thing noticeably different from every other year…..

  166. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 19, 2016 11:11 AM

    “Entertainment is a diversion from the BS of every day life. Nobody, NOBODY, looks to entertainment to be forced a political opinion in any manor. ”

    Except we were already forced into a political opinion BEFORE the protests – having the national anthem before a game is a political choice on behalf of the league.

    If they don’t want politics to affect ratings, then they shouldn’t have wrapped themselves in the flag to begin with.

  167. maniacwithaknife says: Oct 19, 2016 12:12 PM

    The product sucks. The game is slow and choppy. Watch a game from the 1980’s and compare it to a game from this past week. Not even close. Bring back the XFL.

  168. lowesislander says: Oct 19, 2016 1:30 PM

    The ratings may be droping, but personally I’ve started watching all of the boring MNF games with more regularity. Sean McDonough is a great sleep aid. He puts me in a coma by halftime.

  169. lengai says: Oct 19, 2016 1:53 PM

    Quit using rivalry match ups from the 80s to set the prime time schedules. Start flexing games much earlier in the season. Look at NFL coverage maps and you can see places where folks simply will have little to no interest in the games being shown in their location.

  170. stillers213 says: Oct 19, 2016 2:44 PM

    When an NFL player takes a stand for one of our murdered police officers, I will think about respecting the league and watching their product again. What an absolute travesty in our country that police are vilified and criminals are martyred.

  171. davedsone says: Oct 19, 2016 3:48 PM

    The games aren’t good. The analysts just yammer. The Sunday night song is horrible. Protests? Don’t bother ME at all, the right to protest is at the heart of our country.

    But most of all, I’m not watching because of Roger Goodell and his determined effort to make my team suffer for something he can’t even prove they did. I watch the Patriots, and even that is half hearted, because the league has become a farce. Refs can’t decide what’s a catch, what’s pass interference, Gronk gets penalized and threatened with ejection for jawing at a guy but Burfict stomps on Blount and Blount is the guy who draws the penalty. Calls aren’t challengeable no matter how important or how silly they are.

    Nothing but beer and viagra commercials (anyone think there may be a connection there?)

    I have grown tired of it all.

    But you keep pretending it’s a guy taking a knee for the anthem.

  172. pick6ftw says: Oct 19, 2016 4:47 PM

    when MLB is making the NFL look like it’s moving like a snail in molasses you know something needs to be done…excessive commercials, excessive replays and excessive penalties that seem to increase year-by-year. Thank you lord Roger, literally no one but you has the ego and willpower to ruin the world’s greatest game.

  173. coloradofort says: Oct 20, 2016 8:37 AM

    This is easy:

    1) Emphasis on analyzing every play for a penalty…..

    2) Over saturation of commercials…..every 15 seconds something seems to be hawked

    3) Over saturation of games

    4) The National Anthem…..say what you want but that triggered a huge backlash

    5) Greed

    6) The obvious spitefulness of Bradygate…..I’m no Patriots fan but it was obvious the NFL head honchos wanted payback for past sins which seemed childish

  174. nfcman says: Oct 21, 2016 9:50 AM

    Count me among those football fans who have not watched a snap of NFL football because of the obnoxious protests of overpaid players beginning on September 11th of all days as we honored the thousands killed that day and those who served and died in the wars that followed.

    And let us put to rest the argument that these players are exercising their “First Amendment” rights. You have no First Amendment rights vis-à-vis your employer (only vis-à-vis the government). Most employers in fact prohibit their employees from making divisive political statements toward other employees or customers while representing the company on company time, which these players are surely doing during the narrow window of time they wear the uniform on the field on Sundays. They are free to speak their minds later and many do so.

    If the teams will not prohibit this conduct, I as a consumer surely have the right to walk away.

  175. dlmcc1010 says: Oct 21, 2016 10:41 AM

    Here are the reasons the ratings are down:

    1) The age 35+ Audience is turned off by the National Anthem protests. We watch sports to forget about politics, the problems in this country etc. Once you bring that into a game played by increasingly unlikable athletes as it is, it becomes a turn off.

    2) Too many commercials. It makes the games drag on too long which is what killed baseball in this country.

    3) Too much officiating and lousy officiating. The game lacks the action and the rough hits that people used to enjoy seeing.

  176. scoocha says: Oct 21, 2016 6:25 PM

    Had to LOL at the NHL comments. Goals per game have dropped by 3 goals in past 30 years. You can watch a game and know that no one will score either because of stupid defensive rules or gigantic goalies.

  177. veddermn8 says: Oct 23, 2016 11:23 PM

    Another great game tonight ! 3-3 late in the 4th. On the same day Goodell says fans have misunderstood Josh Brown case. Sweet timing Rog

  178. lanman11 says: Oct 24, 2016 7:42 PM

    Make the Patriots play their entire schedule in Prime Time. There. Problem solved.

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