Sunday night ratings up, but Week Six sputters overall

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Sunday’s Giants-Broncos game had far less appeal than it may have had, given the 0-5 record of the New York team entering the content. But it was still enough to spark an improvement over last year’s Sunday night game from Week Six.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, the overnight rating for Sunday Night Football increased to 10.9 from 9.0 a year ago in the same window. The 21.1-percent increase looks good in isolation, but last year’s Colts-Texans game also was the least-watched Sunday night game of the year.

Regardless, if the league’s detractors will point to year-to-year declines without regard to other factors, it’s fair to also consider evidence of a year-to-year increases among broadcasting windows as a positive. Unfortunately, that’s the only positive for the NFL from Week Six.

For the other Sunday windows, the numbers dropped from 2016. The Steelers-Chiefs game on CBS drew a 14.0 rating, down nearly 20 percent from last year’s Cowboys-Packers 17.4.

As the ratings slumped in 2016, many believed (hoped) that it was a one-year aberration, fueled by unprecedented interest in the presidential election. A post-election bump in the ratings contributed to the sense that, come 2017, normalcy would return.

For whatever reason, it hasn’t. And it’s incumbent on the league to figure out why it hasn’t, and what it needs to do to make it happen.

In an era where so much time and money has been spent trying to built interest in the NFL in other countries, the league possibly has taken for granted the saturation of the U.S. market. Based on the ratings from the last two seasons, it’s arguably time for the spouse of the administrator of the now-defunct @forargument account to come up with a way to lead the league back to where it was in 2015.

For starters, reaching a permanent solution to the anthem controversy on Tuesday won’t hurt.

58 responses to “Sunday night ratings up, but Week Six sputters overall

  1. Have no interest in losing my Sunday’s again. Leisurely lunch with the family, some yard work, map, schools event, I don’t think i’ll Be able to have my sundays kidnapped again, even if I want to

  2. I’m not watching. I will enjoy the fall of the NFL. Between the lack of integrity and character from the owners and commissioner, the absolute joke of an investigative agency, the refereeing and finally the kneeldowns…well, I have other things to do on Sundays. And I’m actually enjoying it. The NFL, the business that committed suicide.

  3. Strange NFL season. Again, imo. So many teams are just average to below average. And just because some games are close, doesn’t mean it’s good football. There are multiple reasons why ratings are down. Some has to do with protests. Some has to do with the way the game is today. I think there are too many teams that are just plain bad. And even the best teams aren’t really that good. The “top” teams dont look like top teams. But out of all of them, I think the Pats will right this ship sooner and run away with it all.

  4. When it comes to enjoying nice autumn weather on a Sunday in the pacific northwest or watching teams I don’t really care much about about, going to Crater Lake wins every time.

  5. It has a lot more to do with how boring most of the games are. In spite of rules that favor offense/passing game, the NFL is nauseatingly conservative. Bubble screen. 5 yard hook. Slant. Boooorrrrrriiinnnggg.

  6. Owners, you were terrified to alienate your players, and dismissed the concerns of your fans. It should have been the other way around.

    Now you pay the price.

  7. Anthem protest, poor officiating, slow pace of games, over saturation. Thursday night football, Goodell, criminals as players, penalties, penalties and more penalties. The NFL has peaked. There’s only one way to go now.

  8. Let’s see. What could possibly be the problem? Let’s start with the anthem. Oh, and the quality of the game seems off. And fewer people watch TV. So yeah. Numbers are down.

  9. Also when you have Brian Hoyer, Case Keenum, Brett Hundley, Trubisky (I’ll give home a pass for now), Kevin Hogan, Josh McCown, Jay Cutler, Blake Bortles, and Matt Cassell starting in the league there are a lot of problems. When at least 1/3 of your league has issues at qb it’s hard to get excited. Maybe even more that might be generous.

  10. Overall ratings are now down double digits from last year. Last year they were down double digits from the year before. It isnt looking up. I stopped watching games for a combination of reasons. But the simple fact is the kneeling was the straw that broke the camels back. If that had not happened – all the other reasons that frustrated me about the NFL would not have been enough to drive me away. Denying the impact of kneeling is like when Boxing was denying the corruption was driving their sport into the ground in the late 80’s/90’s.

  11. You keep grasping at straws trying to figure out why the ratings are down. It’s not difficult, just read the majority of the comments!

    This is what happens when you live in a NY/LA bubble surrounded by people who only think the way you do. You have no understanding of what normal, everyday Americans find important.

  12. Someone else mentioned streaming, and I’d also like to know whether the league factors in Redzone when looking at ratings. I used to watch the early and late games on network, but since I’m in a market that forces me to watch Tampa as the NFC game and either Jax or Miami as the AFC game, I just park it on Redzone. I’m also curious why people who claim they have no interest in watching football keep posting on PFT. If they’d truly left the NFL behind, they’d spare us their constant harping on the topic.

  13. fire goodell
    and get a fair cba done, stop thurs night crap games and
    no expansion overseas

    take care of the fans who pay the bill
    and stop with the cheating and phony “scandals” that are clear lies

  14. Speaking for myself, a guy that used to watch 2 – 4 NFL games per week…

    I watch no more than 1 game a week now – my team’s game.

    It’s my personal protest to the players misguided protest.

    I’m a season ticket holder – so that reduces even further the number of games I watch on TV even further.

    I’m glad to report that my team is one of the teams that has not had a player kneel. If they had, I’d probably no longer be a season ticket owner.

    I get to decide where my entertainment dollars are spent…

  15. Yes, people can say that the anthem kneeling is driving down the ratings. It’s obviously a factor. But that alone isn’t going to drive the NFL all the way down to the bottom. The overall bad quality of product has just as much to do with it. I’m sorry, but the league is almost solely offense-focused (and D-Line focused to a degree), and yet this current crop of QBs is just sad.

    Blake Bortles, Kevin Hogan, Trevor Siemian (he’s not bad, but he’s currently not a top starter), 2017 Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Josh McCown, Tyrod Taylor, Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler, Case Keenum… and let’s not even talk about the coaching. I don’t know why exactly, but most of these franchises have stopped focusing on building a quality product which is mind boggling. Fix that ASAP. We used to have decent QBs for backups. Now you’re lucky if half of the starting QBs can actually pass for 2 TDs without throwing 3 picks first. Horrific.

  16. For me, Football was a form entertainment that I enjoyed as an escape from my daily responsibilities and life’s worries. Between the players behavior, the players protests the lack of integrity in the NFL Headquarters, and the constant coverage of every single aspect, I grew tired. Football games are being decided by Attorneys, Arbitors and Judges instead of the players and coaches. In the words of Petey Jones on Remember The Titans: Football is zero fun Sir.

  17. ebbrown29 says:
    October 16, 2017 at 10:07 pm
    Yes, people can say that the anthem kneeling is driving down the ratings. It’s obviously a factor. But that alone isn’t going to drive the NFL all the way down to the bottom. The overall bad quality of product has just as much to do with it. I’m sorry, but the league is almost solely offense-focused (and D-Line focused to a degree), and yet this current crop of QBs is just sad.

    Blake Bortles, Kevin Hogan, Trevor Siemian (he’s not bad, but he’s currently not a top starter), 2017 Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Josh McCown, Tyrod Taylor, Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler, Case Keenum… and let’s not even talk about the coaching. I don’t know why exactly, but most of these franchises have stopped focusing on building a quality product which is mind boggling. Fix that ASAP. We used to have decent QBs for backups. Now you’re lucky if half of the starting QBs can actually pass for 2 TDs without throwing 3 picks first. Horrific.

    6 0 Rate This

    ——–

    i will yell you why..that 2011 cba was so lucrative in terms
    of the tv deal itself, it did not matter to any owner how good their team was from a financial standpoint because there is more money from thv
    revenue than the gate money (tickets, beer, food, jerseys, etc). the latter is all gravy.

    so the owners got fat, lazy and happy not even seeing how
    mismanaged their cap positions are while falling prey to paying
    mediocre qbs joe flacco money due to said laziness and arrogance.

    that’s why

    i had it all along

    greed kills

  18. I dont know why im not allowed to comment on the NFL here, while im boycotting games at the same time. Im a huge diehard fan. This anthem crap has robbed me of one of my favorite things. I love football. Im a veteran. I feel disrespected. If i spit in your face and say ” no disrespect intended”, are you still gonna get mad? Of course you are…i fought for you to peaceful protest on your own time. When youre not working; or be prepared for consequences! Its not fair that they get to press their beliefs on us during our games. Maybe we should peaceful protest at their wifes job or their childrens schools…its my right, but its not respectful(evwn if i say “no disrespect”. Come on guys!!! Stand! @
    AND THEN LETS GO TALK TO COPS AND MAYORS ABOUT CHANGING THE RACISM IN THIS COUNTRY. FIX PROBELMS FOR REAL. NOT JUST BLOW SMOKE AND GRANDSTAND AND DIVIDE OUR CITIZENS ON ISSUES LIKE” DO WE LOVE OUR PROTECTORS, MILITARY, AND WELL BEHAVED RESPONDERS. LOVE GUYS, WE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE!!!

  19. Would of watched the Chiefs Steelers over the MLB NL Championship game but doubt the anthem had squat to do with the ratings.

    Who wants to watch an 0-5 team play on Sunday night?

  20. CBS’ Sunday NFL ratings are down 17 percent year over year during the first several weeks of the football season, according to the report. Sheikh released a similar report last week on Twenty-First Century Fox’s earnings, which he also expects to disappoint thanks to weaker ratings by the NFL.

    The stock has underperformed this year, falling nearly 11 percent since January and nearly 3 percent in the past month.

  21. If youre done watching football, then why are you commenting? Go back to your yardwork and stop bragging …about going back to yard work. You sound like a child.

  22. “reaching a permanent solution to the anthem controversy on Tuesday won’t hurt.”

    for many fans there is only one solution and some players don’t like it

  23. Oh please, forget about these people complaining about kneeling players. I’m embarrassed for you.

    Some poor prime time match ups and fans are streaming for free more than ever. That’s all. Move along, nothing to see here.

  24. “For whatever reason, it hasn’t.” Hahahahahaha
    The plummeting ratings are the sound of the golden-egg-laying-goose sizzling in the oven… put a fork in the NFL, their moronic business decisions have killed their “brand”.

  25. I used to think those who said they would t watch unless they stood were not being honest … then 5 people I knew dropped out of fantasy football and said they don’t watch because of that … It surprised me – but then I live overseas and am not in touch with the domestic anger and frustration except from what I read

  26. Last year the NFL moved my team and basically said “we don’t want you”. So I said “I don’t need you”. Lot’s to do on Sunday besides football by people who do not care about the fans (from the commissioner, to the owners, to the players, to the sponsors). I now have about 10% of what NFL interest I used to.

  27. Networks are crying about lower ratings but they keep focusing on the national anthems. Don’t even talk about it, nobody would even know. Blame themselves for it.

  28. Just walk away from the NFL. They deserve the fallout from disrespecting our Country and Flag.

    As long as there is ONE person kneeling, nobody should watch.

    The league needs a reset.

    Don’t watch, don’t attend, don’t purchase.

  29. Ratings aren’t the only thing that will suffer. I know , I for one would never spend a penny on another NFL jersey or any merchandise for that matter.

  30. “The previous play is under review”…6 commercials…
    Then when they get back to the game, the Ref hasn’t even looked at the play yet. So what has he been doing for the last 5 minutes?
    Then six more commercials.
    Plus if you watch the games on NFL Replay you can actually watch a 60 minute game in 60 minutes.

  31. For whatever reason, it hasn’t. And it’s incumbent on the league to figure out why it hasn’t, and what it needs to do to make it happen.
    __________________________________________________

    Really? You haven’t figured it out yet. Hint: The rest of the country has.

  32. My viewing is way down.
    I skipped both the Sunday night and Monday night games.
    Was not glued to the set like in years past for the Sunday regular games…

    Very unhappy about the spoiled brat millionaires who think we all owe them even more…

  33. There’s more comments on here from people claiming to be done with football because of the kneeling than there are from people that seem to still be watching. People saying the NFL should look no further than these comments just doesn’t make sense. If the proportion was truly accurate the ratings would be way lower than they are.

    The ratings were dropping before the election, the dropped during the election, they are dropping more now. Some people may be so offended that kneeling really is stopping them from enjoying football but all of you. The way I look at it is this, if something someone does that has nothing to do with the game itself stops you from watching that game, you were already half way out the door anyways. It’s like being in a relationship that you can’t get the courage to get out of then the person does something small that if you truly loved them you could over look but instead you use it as the excuse to leave.

    The NFL as a whole is just not entertaining enough. Between NFL Sunday Ticket, Kodi, Verizon NFL app and Amazon I still don’t watch 80% of the games. I regretted getting Sunday Ticket after week 1.

    As a recruiter for the Navy I spend a lot of time in the high schools and talked to the younger generation. As a whole they just aren’t into NFL as my generation was. Even the ones that claim to be fans can’t name their starting qb. If the NFL can’t fix that problem then it will surely die out. Major changes are needed beyond just fixing the kneeling.

  34. Respect and Honor are taught.
    They come from the inside out.
    Our society on a whole is rebellious and selfish.
    We are on a downward spiral unless things significantly change.

  35. over saturation
    Lockout
    Replacement refs
    Too many penalties
    Politics in sports
    Streaming
    Demographic change
    Demographics of the fans vs demographic of the players

  36. So many people proclaiming they don’t watch the NFL on Sunday (or Monday or Thursday) and don’t pay attention to the games any longer but yet you take the time to visit this website and make comments…..riiight

  37. EJ says:
    October 17, 2017 at 6:52 am
    The ratings were down because the City of Buffalo was on a bye week.
    ***********************************************************
    Oh yes, the city of Buffalo, with it’s whole 250,000 people.

    What a joke.

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