L.A. TV audience even less interested than paying customers

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When it comes to the people who show up at StubHub Center, Chargers fans consistently aren’t showing up in significantly greater numbers than the fans of their opponents. When it comes to the people who watch football at home, the Chargers are doing even worse.

Via Fred Roggin of NBC LA, Week Four saw the Saints-Dolphins game in London generate higher ratings than the Chargers’ home game against the Eagles.

Yes, a game that began at 6:30 a.m. PT involving two teams with no connection to the market did better than a game that began at 1:00 p.m. PT involving one of the two L.A. “home” teams.

That’s far more embarrassing than Chargers fans being overpowered in their own building by fans of the teams the Chargers are playing. It’s a sign that people in L.A. simply don’t care that the Chargers are there. Or that they care more about getting up at 6:30 a.m. PT on a Sunday two watch two teams that currently don’t have a strong national following.

Whichever it is, it’s bad for the Chargers.

57 responses to “L.A. TV audience even less interested than paying customers

  1. I had Rams season tickets in LA/Anaheim for 10 years and Raiders LA season tickets for 5 years and I can’t think of anything more ridiculous than the Chargers coming to LA. I know no one in SoCal who disagrees.

    Getting the Rams back made sense and had a certain symmetry. The Chargers move reflects only the maniacal pursuits of one wealthy NFL owner, Dean Spanos, who has shown himself to be the ingrate who pounds on the closed office window long after the No Vacancy sign has been turned on.

    Go home, Dean.You don’t belong in LA. You’re well on your way to destroying both a legacy and a fan base back in San Diego. Build your own freakin’ stadium and see if they don’t fill it up.

  2. The Shield still shines, but cracks are beginning to form. It will be interesting to see where the NFL is at 10 years from now if they keep to the current path.

  3. There’s no reason why LA fans should feel any connection to the Bolts. Come on — give us one good reason why they should care. LA is not Hootsville. There’s plenty to do besides hang on to the outcome of a football game.

    USC and UCLA have deep rots int he community.

    The Bolts – way less so.

  4. There’s no reason why LA fans should feel any connection to the Bolts. Come on — give us one good reason why they should care. LA is not Hootsville. There’s plenty to do besides hang on to the outcome of a football game.

    USC and UCLA have deep roots in the community.

    The Bolts – way less so.

  5. Yet another mistake from Goodell. The Raiders already had an existing fanbase there. A pretty big one from their time in LA. But ol’ Roger didn’t want them attracting the “wrong crowd”. So they tried to claim that a lot of Chargers fans were actually in LA. They’re not. And that’s not going to change, especially with the Rams looking like they’re going to be good for a long time. Wouldn’t shock me if Goodell tries to make the Chargers the permanent London team that he desperately wants for some reason.

  6. the only place in CA the chargers had a following was in SD. Now that that bridge is burned,
    The Chargers need to get out of CA !!!!!!!!!!!

    find a state and city that will bend over backwards for them.

    because SD or any other major market in CA will never give Spanos all the money he wants.

  7. I live in LA. I was a Lions fan (thanks for that, dad) before we got a team back in the area and when the Rams returned I got on board with the original LA NFL franchise. I think most local fans are splitting their support between the teams they rooted for before we had a team and what’s perceived as the real LA team.

    The Chargers are San Diego’s team. We don’t want them.

  8. I’d say that’s amazing, except that this has happened before.
    And the NFL as a whole was down. If both sides are going to make NFL games ground zero for the culture war, the NFL is in big trouble.

  9. The NFL has killed the football audience in LA. By having these two teams in LA, and with the TV rules not being fan friendly, the NFL is dead here. The rules prevent fans from viewing the best game, and forcing the Rams and Chargers on Fox and CBS, which kills the viewing market for the 30 other teams (and their transplanted fans).

    It didn’t help the Chargers that they got dumped from Fox Channel 11 to KCOP 13 (which maybe a first).

  10. What a terrible decision to allow two teams that LA doesn’t care about come to their town. Send them back to San Diego before it’s too late

  11. LA ran out two NFL teams a long time ago, because they have better things to do. The only circumstance that has changed since then is the people of LA have even MORE to do.

  12. This should surprise no one. Any child pf four could plainly see that dragging a second NFL team to LA was an idiot move.

  13. Hahahaha. I feel for the players and everyone on the field for the Chargers, but not as much as I think it is hilarious that it is blowing up in Spanos face! I don’t recall seeing anyone, other than Spanos and Goodell, who thought this would work out well. Which almost makes this frustrating, because DUH, everyone knew this wasn’t going to work, except for a couple of boneheads.

    But, hahahaha Spanos. I’m sure the fans you left in San Diego are loving this too!

  14. The NFL has got to figure out a way to get the Chargers back to San Diego, or SOMEWHERE other than LA. Even though it should come as a shock to no one, putting two teams in LA has been an unmitigated disaster.

  15. Must suck for the Chargers, but hopefully it puts an end the NFL’s greedy game of threatening to move a team unless the taxpayers come up with $500M -$1B for a stadium.

  16. I feel really bad for the Charger players and coaches on this. Dean Spanos on the other hand, you are getting just what you deserve!

  17. Interesting how you rip a team out of a city like San Diego who supported their team, to stuff them in a city that years ago showed they could really care less about having their own NFL teams.

    LA may be the largest TV market in the country, doesn’t mean they care to have a team of their own. It’s just a money grab by the NFL regarding TV contracts. Wonder if this will cause the re-re-location of the “San Diego” Chargers??

  18. How many times over the years has LA failed to support an NFL team? And now they thought it would be a good idea to move two teams there?

  19. Just because you have a market (LA) doesn’t mean you have consumers.

    Honestly – even if they moved to San Antonio or somewhere else, I’m not so sure the Chargers immediately turn into the Packers as far as fan engagement.

    I lived in San Antonio for several years. Not once did I or anyone I meet EVER say “Man, this is great but no football. I need it here.”

    If we’re really honest – the NFL has too many teams as it is. It could contract and STILL be king. Too many rosters are mediocre past the first 15 which leaves the bottom 15 on every team that probably don’t deserve to be in the NFL, talent wise.

    Contract the league, scarcity drives value, and make the teams better 1-53

  20. They haven’t had a “home team” for 20-some-odd years. Why did you expect them to glom on to either of these teams immediately?

  21. The Chargers should become a homeless traveling team. Have them play home games in high school or college stadiums around the country in states with no pro teams, like North Dakota. They would have a bigger audience.

  22. It would be just deserts for thr Chargers to have a hard time selling tickets and make the same or less in LA than in Sd. Plus Dean has to pay the league 600MM over the next 10+ years as delayed relocation fee.

  23. I always thought LA was a poor choice because of all the other choices. Packer fan here and when it’s below zero, snow up to your shoulders and don’t ice fish, the Packers are a great distraction. Why 2 teams! Rams make some sense because of the teams history. Chargers should have moved in the other direction. You want an international team, put them in Mexico city

  24. I think the Rams will be fine. They have a history in Los Angeles, plus the revenue from tickets and concessions really is a drop in the bucket for teams, anyway. The Chargers, on the other hand, are in trouble because although they could stay afloat through TV contracts and revenue sharing, the other owners aren’t going to carry a team like that for long without forcing some changes.

  25. You’ve all watched the destruction of a viable business and franchise. Spanos/Fabiani have trapped themselves. Spanos can’t relocate again at another $650 million. He can’t sell the team as a new owner would not purchase it as an LA team…he’d have to relocate it at another $650 million over and above the purchase price. Spanos and the NFL have a massive problem….if they want to deal with it…..or forget about it, let Spanos and the NFL keep raking in the money.

  26. If you think it’s bad for the Chargers now just wait until they move into that huge new stadium that where they’ll have to pay real rent to have sit empty. And don’t expect Kroenke to cut them a sweetheart deal on the rent–they might go in the hole on the rent if they can’t get any more fans interested.

  27. Coming from the UK and following football for some 35 years now I remember hearing about the Baltimore Colts loading up lorries and moving house overnight and thought how tragic that was for Baltimore and the fans. Couldn’t get my head around how a team is there one day and gone the next. There’s been quite a few of these scandalous moves. Most of the city’s that have lost teams have now football back and good for them. I know a liitle about football history as I gorged myself with books about the game during my early years but don’t really understand how this can happen without mass riots. I know teams are franchised except for the Packers who different I beleive, but surely teams should be forced to stay even through bad times. Look what happened to the Saints before Catrina.

  28. Once negative press starts to spiral, it is almost impossible to spin out of it. At this point, the best the league can hope for, is that the Chargers go on a long winning streak. It won’t happen, but that is all they can really do is hope.

    I do wonder if it is possible for the league to take over the ownership of the Chargers temporarily. I think it has happened in other professional sports. Then, find new owners and figure out what to do with the team, in terms of where it plays. New owners would want to have a say in where the team ends up.

    Spanos has gotten such negative press, I am not so sure that he can take the Chargers anywhere and have a supportive fan base.

  29. It’s unraveling and a terrible mess. Joe Lockhart is lying. Right, no “formal discussions but the entire NFL owners and staff are talking about it. It’s a growing, massive problem.

  30. I’m sure they are talking about it, but what they aren’t talking about is moving back to San Diego.

    The reason the Chargers left is they need a new stadium there (and they do).

    The city is not paying for it. Spanos is not paying for it. The NFL is not paying for it.

    The NFL doesn’t like the optics, but the reality is while the TV audience is awful on a Nielson rating basis, if you add San Diego and LA the number of eyeballs watching is down about 50% from the good years in San Diego.

    So I’m guessing they aren’t anywhere near the panic button, as even a small increase in market share in LA leads to a lot of viewers quickly.

    My guess is they’ll parachute in some marketing people to help the Chargers, whose marketing, even when they were in san Diego, was atrocious.

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