TV ratings show most NFL teams losing local support

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The NFL’s national television ratings are down 7.5 percent this year, but it’s not just the national TV audience that’s struggling: The vast majority of teams are seeing their local ratings down as well.

According to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com, 25 of 31 teams are drawing lower local numbers than they did in 2016. The Chargers aren’t included in that number because they’re playing in a new market this year, although it’s clear that the Chargers are struggling with their local fan base as well.

Most teams in the NFL are down by more than 5 percent. The Jets, playing in America’s biggest television market, are down a whopping 37 percent. Only three teams — the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Lions — have improved their local ratings by more than 5 percent.

Ratings fluctuate from week to week and year to year, and the NFL has mostly shrugged off the ratings decline of the last two years. But when virtually every team in the league is drawing fewer viewers on local television than last year, that points to a bigger problem than the NFL has publicly acknowledged.

167 responses to “TV ratings show most NFL teams losing local support

  1. Did anyone really expect anything different? These players protests are Biting the hand that feed them .

  2. Mainly due to the horrific product on the field. The no hitting in practice is like telling a surgeon he can’t read the x rays or review his surgical books before he performs surgery. Totally stupid – Tom Brady and his whimpy act is to blame. Also… the NFL refs are so bad, that now after each play – you look to the bottom right of the TV to see if there is another penalty. Almost every other big play in the NFL is called back due to holding or P.I. The league is so much less fun to watch then it used to be. The refs should be limited to “overtly blatant” penalties that affect the play. Teams should be able to hit in pre-season and wear pads for 2 practices per week with 45 minutes of hitting permitted. But the world we live in is all about protection. Why do you think so many players are hurt – their bodies are not prepared for contact that they get on Sunday. Which will die first… College Basketball or the NFL?

  3. The NFL’s national television ratings are down 7.5 percent
    _________________________________–
    Last year being an election year its not fair to compare to 2016 season. 2015 would be a better comparison. The ratings are down 18.5 percent from 2015.

  4. Doesn’t seem to matter how many fans say it….. overwhelmingly NFL fans DO NOT want their football corrupted with political nonsense. Whether it’s Costas talking about gun control, or BLM, & the Anthem protests. The majority of fans, regardless of their political leanings want to watch football without being lectured politically.

    There are countless forums for people to spew their ideology, & or protest. Please for the millionth time…. keep it out of football..!!

  5. Have to wonder what the media’s end game here is. Went out of their way to hype the protest of one failed QB without thinking past the next deadline. What happens to remora when their shark dies?

  6. Please enlighten us how NFL Sunday Ticket, RedZone and streaming games impacts these numbers.

    ALL television ratings are down, by how much? Why does nobody share this information?

  7. Speaking for myself only. I’m tired of politics in my sports. From both sides. I watch football, and other sports, to escape reality for those few hours. Watching my team out there playing the game, team vs. team, winning and losing. The more politics is mixed into it, the more I turn away. More often than not in the past few weeks, I’ve just turned to highlights and final scores rather than a whole game.

  8. Now that Michael Bennett has moved the goal post and demanded Kaep be on a team as part of their “demands”. Whats the next move Owners? Are you going to put an end to this nonsense and treat your business like a business and not a political party?

    I am thinking cave and pander. If so, the fans have a solution. Mr Kahn has had terrible attendance and low ratings is sitting with one of the worst starting QBs in the league. The owners must now ask Khan to sign Kaep.

    I believe this will boost ratings back…Yep, we all do…

  9. That’s what happens when politics is constantly shoved down our throats. Can’t even sit back and enjoy the game anymore without controversy.

  10. why would the other 63% turn on the TV to see the Jets? I get the old Lucy pulling the football from Charlie Brown attractiveness of watching the Patriots beat the Jets in the most painful way possible, but what about the other games?

  11. Another point is that many millenials have cut the cord, but continue to watch NFL games with illegal streaming on their devices. I see anywhere from 5-10 streaming links every week.

  12. Like sitting down at a pricy restaurant and having the server give you a lecture on his/her hot political issue before explaining the specials of the day.

  13. Still no mention of cord cutting?

    People abandoning their cable TV?

    With streaming of content (mentioned in advertisements for the NFL package here in Canada) you are not catching viewers who would otherwise be caught up in the ratings. I know several people who just stream their games on a weekly basis or who go to a bar to watch because they no longer want to pay for cable television.

    It would be interesting to bring other sports into the conversation especially given reports of ratings declines for NASCAR (14 – 18% decline year-to-year) who I’m pretty sure has no issue with drivers protesting during the national anthem. In the articles I’ve read about the NASCAR decline the cause is attributed to CORD CUTTING and CONSTANT COMMERCIAL BREAKS.

  14. I don’t care if everyone who thinks kneeling is bad stops watching. Good riddance – and maybe stop posting here too. That’s an American right I hold dear, to protest it when it isn’t doing right by its citizens. Brought on by our experience with the British, and I hold it as one of the most significant rights that we have. Wouldn’t be a Constitution without its inclusion.

    I think the NFL’s real problem is that the product on the field isn’t very good. We (and by we, I mean you) try to make stories about teams that are really just average, but rise to the top because the quality of the teams they’re playing against really isn’t very good.

    This isn’t a one-year problem either. It is just exacerbated it seems this year. Throw in the injuries and fans get all excited about their team’s record, but fail to see that the quality of this league has been far less than previous eras for a generation. Fix that, stop diluting the product by changing the rules and trying so hard to win overseas, and maybe you’ll see fans start watching again.

  15. Another thing fans don’t like is the NFL saying it was an OBVIOUS and EASY TD to overturn (Jets TE) when 99% of the people watching thought and would like it to be a touch down. Ticky tacky replays are destroying the game too. And does anyone really know what a catch is anymore?

  16. TV ratings show most NFL teams losing local support…shocker, with all the media tries to shove down our collective throats…the Christmas the nfl gets, it deserves…

  17. Most of the players who are kneeling aren’t capable of seeing the bigger picture; as ratings decline, revenue declines, the Salary cap might not decline but for sure, it wouldn’t be growing at its previous rate and then the 32 GM’s have less revenue to pay the players coming off their first contracts and on to the second contracts where the real money is made.

    So in effect, they are shooting themselves in the foot for a protest that has yet to produce any results no matter what the players think. They can deny that kneeling is not disrespecting the flag but the majority of fans don’t see it that way. There is a saying in the area where I live, “Don’t piss on my leg and try to tell me its raining” The fans aren’t stupid, you want to make more money? Stand up for the national anthem, put your helmet under your left arm, place your right hand over your heart and then you can peacefully protest on your day off. This isn’t so hard to understand.

  18. Just think of the ratings drop in Wisconsin after last week.

    The media will say that the whole drop in ratings across the country is because of Rodgers…

  19. The obvious fix here is a permanent team in London and just to sure send another team to LA. Problem solved….. BIGLY!

  20. The TV ratings are down as a whole and it has nothing to do with football or any kind of spin that is being put on it having to do with the NFL or the protests. The reality is that many long running shows that people were fond of have been discontinued and have not been replaced with programs that the public has been able to connect with yet. The vast number of Americans are tired of programming that is full of reality shows, variety shows, sit-coms that miss their mark, and therefore are finding better things to do.
    Many football games, at the local level, are of poor quality and the cost of buying Sunday ticket is not justifiable for the entire family.
    The Presideential election of last year was so vile and ugly it split many families and social groups and that negative and hate ridden message has only gotten worse, which is something many people want to shy away from and shielf their children from. The fact is that TV is no longer family friendly and rather than take responsibility for the problem, and fixing it, the NFL has become a convenient scapegoat.

  21. The ratings drop isn’t any great surprise. If it were just one issue, then the NFL could probably address it. I just get the feeling that all of the people that have stopped watching, haven’t stopped watching for the same reason.

    The Chargers have moved. I have no team to root for. I only occasionally hate watch the Chargers. For others, I am sure they have stopped watching for other reasons.

    The Walking Dead comes back this Sunday. It will be interesting to see if that has any affect on the Sunday night game’s ratings.

  22. This is what happens when a business (as in league AND players)think “that the customers work for them” rather than the other way around! As long as the players let people like Kap, Michael Bennett and Delanie Walker be their face the downfall will continue! And, the league lets failed owner run his mouth to add to the slide!

  23. ALL major league sports are experiencing tv viewership decline, not just the NFL.

    As per Variety, NBA was down 6%.
    Forbes just reported MLB was down 6.4%.
    Bloomberg reported that NASCAR is down 12% year over year.
    Awful Announcing reported the NHL is down 14%.
    World Soccer Talk said the 2017 MLS season dropped 8% viewership.
    Golf.com said PGA viewership is off 65% from the 2008 peak.

    But let’s ignore the FACTS and continue to rant about bad officals, Goodell, anthem protests, standing/not-standing etc.

  24. Really though, who cares? Those who love football will watch; those that don’t, wont. TV viewership is down across the board, not just football. The NFL will make billions either way. These constant articles about NFL ratings and how “terrible” the quality of play is (because it’s not the NBA with 2 great teams and the rest garbage) just support the narrative.

    My suggestion to PFT and other sites like this, stay away from the politics, put less emphasis on shining a spotlight on every controversy or player in trouble, and people will enjoy the game more.

  25. As soon as I saw the headline I knew commenters would make this about Trump and the anthem BUT if you actually read the article you would have found this nugget:

    “Now, it’s also important to understand that TV ratings across the board—not just sports—are dropping for a large number of reasons, mostly related to technology, the amount of options people have, and cord cutting.”

    No one cares about the facts anymore, it’s low brow hot-take nation! Giddyup

  26. Sundays use to be a holy day and not because of church. The NFL players have pushed loyal fans away with their political stances. This is football not meet the press. Wait until contracts are affected and the players will be singing a different tune.

  27. Breaking News: The NFL isn’t folding up its tent. If you’re a fan of Football Sunday, you’re in luck, because it’s going to be around for a long time to come. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. No one that matters really cares.

  28. Brett Favre, Joe Montana, Eddie George, Warren Moon, etc….I’m glad I had the chance to watch NFL football WAS NFL football. The National football legaue started fading years ago, now it’s just on its deathbed.

  29. does this take in to account the large number of people who are pulling the plug on cable and opting for streaming services? with products like DAZN available and others using android boxes, these ratings surely having a margin for error, no?

    also, elephant in the room, most Americans take is a personal attack when people kneel during their song.

  30. Investigation, suspensions, bountygate, deflategate, Article 46, cant tell us what a catch is, protest, games on Sunday/Monday/Thursday, court hearings, temporary restraining orders, injunctions, collusion against Kaepernick accusations, games in London that nobody wants to see, NFLPA, CBA, lawyers

    Thats just off the top of my head….I’m sure I left a lot out. Want to know why ratings are down, just look at some of the things above. Football isnt about football anymore, its about everything bad surrounding football, its rules that nobody can make sense of and games on 3 nights a week. Its all too much!

  31. Trump has nothing to do with it, except for fans who never really were fans to begin with, considering they don’t even show the anthem on tv typically. It’s the product on the field and the other options available to watch it…that’s it. The Trump thing has little, if any, effect period.

  32. I would rather watch Micheal Bennett cower behind a vending machine in Las Vegas then watch the NFL. What do we get little Johnny for Christmas in St Louis? A Rams jersey?
    A Chiefs or Bears jersey? Lets get him a Roger Goodell voodoo doll.

  33. Checking the effect on the ratings for each individual market, is probably the best way to quantify the effect of the kneeling and the other things that are bothering the fans. If you have a good MNF game, of course, the ratings would be up if we look at the ratings at a nationl level. Still, the teams playing Monday night have to be worth watching. Terrible scheduling.If it happens that the MNF game has two good teams and the ratings aren’t the greatest,then the NFL really has a problem.

  34. bad teams, virtually zero great teams, concussions, suspensions and court hearings dominating the headlines, kneeling for the anthem, arrogant players and players union, arrogant owners, moving teams, terrible national TV matchups, season ending injuries on the rise especially to franchise type players.

    this has nothing to do with Trump although he definitely fanned the flames. The league has a stink on it now.

  35. I laugh at moron’s saying the country is going down the tubes – I don’t know about you but I love the stock market soaring and my 401K’s growing for a change – unlike the last 8 years.

  36. Because Trump told sheep what to care about.
    _____________________________________________

    How can people be this stupid? People cared about the protests long before Trump made any statements about it. In fact, it is more likely that Trump said those things to gather support from the people that were angry about the protests since there was a lot of people pissed off about it.

  37. Boycott NFL sponsors.

    Anheuser-Busch
    Barclaycard US
    Bose
    Bridgestone
    Campbell’s Soup Company
    Castrol
    Courtyard Marriott
    Dairy Management, Inc. (Fuel Up to Play 60)
    Dannon
    Extreme Networks
    FedEx
    Frito-Lay
    Gatorade
    Hyundai Motor America
    Mars Snackfood
    Microsoft
    Nationwide
    News America
    Papa John’s
    Pepsi
    Procter & Gamble
    Quaker
    Verizon
    Visa
    USAA

  38. Here’s an idea. DON’T FILM THE BENCHES DURING THE ANTHEM. Just focus on who is singing and the flag. Don’t give it publicity and there will be none.

    Oh wait, I forgot. We live in a country that thrives on controversy and publicity.

    Silly me.

  39. NFL had problems before the Anthem thing. I agree with some of the posters above. The GAME itself with too many penalties/referee involvement…stupid rules like the catch rule…etc.

    When Broadcasts now have former NFL OFFICIALS/Referees as part of the anouncing team – that tells you alot.

    Then throw in the NFL Media…nerd FANTASY football….Goodell…bigmouths like Rex Ryan….a decent % of unlikeable players, GREEDY OWNERS, OVERPRICED tickets, beer, etc

    UGH – they can have it.

    Why 50 yo men would walk around wearing team jerseys or painting faces cheering for guys who couldnt care less about them makes ZERO sense to me.

  40. the general population is more interested in fantasy football results and how their favorite player is doing than to care about a local team. the way we watch has also changed significantly, if a bad game is on your local CBS of FOX channel, you can usually find a way to watch a better game if you’re an NFL fan

  41. Can we just eliminate challenge flags and go back to subjective calls? Replay completely ruins gameflow and takes a lot of responsibility out of being a quality official. The games are just so fragmented that it’s hard to get immersed anymore.

  42. What makes me laugh is that the people pushing the protests are people who want football banned because of its “toxic masculinity.” The protests are nothing more than generic anti-Trump rallies. Even people that don’t care for Trump are turned off by it. One other thing I find funny is that what Mark Cuban said about the NFL a few years ago is coming true right before our eyes. Yet, he isn’t out there saying “I told you so.” Why is that?

  43. weeteblog says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Investigation, suspensions, bountygate, deflategate, Article 46, cant tell us what a catch is, protest, games on Sunday/Monday/Thursday, court hearings, temporary restraining orders, injunctions, collusion against Kaepernick accusations, games in London that nobody wants to see, NFLPA, CBA, lawyers

    Thats just off the top of my head….I’m sure I left a lot out. Want to know why ratings are down, just look at some of the things above. Football isnt about football anymore, its about everything bad surrounding football, its rules that nobody can make sense of and games on 3 nights a week. Its all too much!

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Well, I couldn’t say it any better than this…

  44. @ wiley16350

    So, if everyone stands and sings along with the anthem, the TV ratings will soar? I think not. We’ll just move on to some other reason to hate…we seem to be pretty good at coming up with those, aren’t we?

  45. Several reasons for this:

    1) For young men, there are just more options and things to do. NFl is competing with online video games, Netflix, and hook up apps.

    2) Fantasy football means I’m less interested in viewing a whole game between two teams and more into live highlights

    3) You can follow how any team is doing and get highlights on social media. No one is forced to be glued to the couch anymore.

    4) Football is entertainment only for most viewers. Once it turned into an SJW soapbox (like this website), people started finding other options. I watch to escape from life stress, not add to it.

  46. zombiepatriot says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Still no mention of cord cutting?

    People abandoning their cable TV?
    ———————–

    What does that have to do with anything? Every game except for 2, and now 1, are on broadcast television.

  47. bruiser2015 says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
    I’m curious to how much online streaming options play a part in viewing habits….

    What ever it is, it isn’t paying the bills at CBS, NBC, or ESPN

  48. boxscore20k says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:38 am
    I laugh at moron’s saying the country is going down the tubes – I don’t know about you but I love the stock market soaring and my 401K’s growing for a change – unlike the last 8 years.

    2 1 Rate This

    —————

    Last time that happened we had the greatest recession the country’s ever seen, it came off more like a depression, the sting the entire country (Minus the people in on the corruption of it), still feels today.

  49. Remember in an article yesterday, PFT said:
    “Last year, it was easy to blame the decline on election coverage. This year, it’s harder to pinpoint the precise reason.”
    Ahhhhhhh………good times.

  50. This is a demographic changing-of-the-guard. Older devoted fans are dying off, their first-born have a tremendous amount of other entertainment opportunities, and the younger generations don’t care. It’s not their thing.

    This has nothing to do with our Accidental President, without the support of the majority of people in this country, trying to lay guilt trips on kneeling protesters. Protest is as American as………as……..well, as anything. This great country was founded in protest.

  51. It’s not just from kneeling and political stuff involved. The NFL has become a different game. Penalties seemingly on every play, too many commercials, terrible refs, can’t hit receivers or quarterbacks, etc. It’s not even football anymore. Thanks Roger

  52. Why is anyone surprised. U can see it on tv in the stands as well. When you insult your fan base and you insult fallen soldiers, this is what can happen

  53. To those ignorant souls who think this is a 1st amendment issue: no one wants to put them in jail. Read the constitution you claim to love so much…. “Congress shall make no law.”

    We the viewers have rights too, and you will never force me to buy a product or watch a program I don’t want to, comrade.

  54. These things have a tendency to happen when the players disrespect and insult the fans with their actions and rhetoric. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  55. The bottom line is that it has become difficult to care about the NFL and that is the NFL’s fault. Between the politics, the WWE-like storylines that seem to flow through each game, the sloppy play on the field, players sense of entitlement, the decline in fantasy football interest, and the buffoon in charge of it all, people are finding better ways to spend a nice fall afternoon.

  56. To those who say “Don’t watch”, that is what is happening and why the ratings are down. When the ratings go down, the price of advertising goes down. When the price of advertising goes down, profits to teams go down. When profits to teams go down, player salaries go down. And so an and so forth. If the cycle continues, players will think the current league minimum for first year players is breaking the bank. How stupid are some people? Don’t watch? What a bunch of idiots.

  57. It wasn’t nearly the controversy Trump made it out to be though. Just fanning the flames with more hate-mongering.

    All those losers will be back. They’re as bad as bandwagoners. Keep politics OUT of my football!

  58. Eventually even the players will figure out that lost revenue equals smaller saleries due to a smaller TV contract.

    Eventually.

  59. Kneeling has nothing to do with it, most games aren’t fun to watch.

    The good QBs are now old and in general less effective, and some of the newer QBs aren’t that good. Maybe the college game has diverged and it takes years to train rookies to play well in the NFL, but the games aren’t fun to watch.

    Bad officiating that causes a penalty to be missed in one thing, but when you have BS like what happened in the Jets-Patriots game with that being called a turnover, or the NFL coming up with a complex catch definition and robbing Dez Bryant of a completion in the playoffs, that turns off fans. There are only 16 games, an officiating call can easily determine a game.

    How many good teams are there that are fun to watch outside of your team?
    Rams vs Jaguars? Ugh.

  60. I find it laughable that some commenters here point to “accross the board” ratings, then follow that up by accusing others of “ignoring facts”. Pointing out that ratings across the board are down does nothing to answer WHY ratings are down across the board. Ratings are down across the board because politics are being forced down our throats across the board, both Hollywood and Sports. The FACT is that this reason includes the NFL. We are discussing the NFL on an NFL related media site, so people focus on the NFL here. The FACT is that NFL ratings are down because of politics being force fed to us; just because that reason applies across the board doesnt mean it isn’t factual.

  61. Phony! I cry PHONY! Goodell and the owners are a bunch of phonies!

    What businessman (aka owner) looks at declining sales (viewership) and says, we’re not going to force the players to stand???

    What was the last company (anyone reading these posts) you knew of or worked for that had declining sales because of one specific action (disrespecting the flag and anthem) and management shrugged their shoulders and would say “we haven’t required the players to stand during the anthem”? – even though it’s hurting sales!!!! Ludicrous!!

    That’s why I’m calling PHONY here. Do you think for one second these players have turned the owners into SJWs?

    PHONIES!

  62. If the NFL wants their ratings back up, they need to bring in one guy. Sounds crazy but TEBOW!!!! With his positivity, he could probably fix this whole stupid protesting thing.

  63. funshipm174 says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am
    Did anyone really expect anything different? These players protests are Biting the hand that feed them .
    ———————————–

    A piece of cloth feeds them? No wonder people worship it.

  64. steelerfanjo says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:12 am
    Mainly due to the horrific product on the field. The no hitting in practice is like telling a surgeon he can’t read the x rays or review his surgical books before he performs surgery. Totally stupid – Tom Brady and his whimpy act is to blame.

    I’d be done with the NFL if Brady had beaten my team like a dishrag for all those years.

  65. if you stopped watching, then stop posting your crying stories. i don’t care if they sit, stand, raise their fist.. whatever!! it just shows that team isn’t united if players aren’t on the same page. it shows the ignorance of our youth, and how the media controls their weak minds disrespecting your country? then go live somewhere else losers

  66. So, a goon by the name of Anthony Barr sidelines one of football’s top two QB’s. You may love Rodgers or you may hate him. You may love Brady or you may hate him. But is there a fan out there who doesn’t want to see them play?

    Imagine the Chicago Bulls without Michael Jordan. Or golf without Tiger. Or NHL hockey without Gretzky or Crosby or Lemieux. Or NASCAR without Dale Earnhardt. Or now the Yankees without Aaron Judge. People want to see the best. At least I do. And now that the Vikings found that the only way you can stop Rodgers is to injure him and threaten his career, I am pretty much done with the NFL for this year.

  67. Funny how the usually rigid NFL became social justice warriors and folded to their mostly powerless players whereas the very liberal NBA already told the players (who have the most control of any professional sport) they will be punished if they don’t stand for the National Anthem. Adam Silver once again proved how much smarter and how much of a better leader he is than Goodell by getting in front of the issue and setting the standard.

  68. Your tired of the NFL? Good we’re tired of the fair weather fans, go post on your new interest in politics somewhere else’s! it’s not my fault your team sucks and this was your real excuse why you hate the NFL. This all will fall waist side soon.

  69. The self entitlement and the me me and more me has put the NFL in my eyes at bottom of concerned to watch. When you can have a meeting in middle of week for cause of one sector of race enough is enough. When every week it is a different cause to protest than I as a fan have the same right. I have stopped attending any games got rid of the ticket in my response to these spoiled brats of the NFL. When it comes to a player saying we will not stop till a certain payer gets rehired, when everyday off the field ones get let go or can’t get a certain job. Life moves on for them.

  70. I can tell you right now the Seahawks are 1 of the 6.

    Hands down the highest rated program of the week out here in the Pacific Northwest.

    .. even in Portland and parts of Idaho and Montana I bet they kill it.

  71. The NFL is going the way of MLB: too expensive and limited player engagement with fans. Soccer is the sport that is gaining steam now, and MLS is going through expansion phases faster than the other major sports. Also, tickets are cheaper, the players are super accessible to the fans and the teams build their gameday experience around the fans, not the players. There is singing to go along with the beer and fans are more involved in how the teams are run. The front offices genuinely care about their fanbase. I’m a Seattle Sounders season ticket holder, after they won the MLS Cup last year, the front office gave each and every season ticket holder a replica championship ring the players received. I highly doubt that would happen to season ticket holders of the NFL or the MLB. Also, the season ticket holders every 4 years in Seattle have a confidence vote on the GM given to them by team ownership. I think better alternatives are why we are seeing a ratings decline over the last few years, before Donald Trump.

  72. So this “majority” of people who threatened to boycott is, at best, 7.5%? Good riddance…if it’s actually true.

  73. I think it has more to do with fantasy football. People don’t care about teams anymore, they just care about what their fantasy players are doing. So they watch Red Zone Channel if anything (or that awful Fantasy Zone Channel).

  74. How did we get from Goodell chastising players for things like eye black and shoe messages…to players taking over the narrative by sitting and kneeling for the national anthem? Were not Kaepernick’s pig socks more disparaging than someone writing a message of support for a cancer victim on their cleats? This isn’t an issue about players as much as it is Goodell and the NFL owners failing to manage the “shield”. If fans are becoming disenchanted, its because the NFL owners don’t know how to properly manage their own league. Please bring back Paul Tagliabue!

  75. metitometin says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:23 am
    It’s the Trump effect. People don’t have much of an appetite for anything anymore with the whole country going down the tubes.
    ——————————————————————
    Mmmmmmmeh…….Im pretty sure its the virtue signaling effect causing people not to have much of an appetite.

  76. @ wiley16350

    So, if everyone stands and sings along with the anthem, the TV ratings will soar? I think not. We’ll just move on to some other reason to hate…we seem to be pretty good at coming up with those, aren’t we?
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    That has nothing to do with what I said. My comment was in response to somebody that said Trump is basically the reason for the boycotts. Which is stupid because people were boycotting before Trump chimed in on the topic. That was the only thing I was commenting on. If you read more into it than that, you can consider yourself just as stupid as the guy I previously called stupid.

    As for what you said. I have no idea if ratings will improve if the NFL gets everyone to stand. From the people I know that are boycotting, it seems as though they aren’t so willing to forgive. Which means, ratings will not improve at this point. Probably to your surprise; since I’m guessing you assumed a lot in my original message, I am not boycotting the NFL. I believe the players have a right to kneel but I also believe they are stupid for doing so. I think they could find better ways to get their point across because it is obvious how much people don’t like what they’re doing. However, I’m not going to quit watching the NFL just because I disagree with what they’re doing. It is less than 10% of the players that are kneeling so it doesn’t really bother me. I accept that some people are stupid and I’m not going to let their stupid actions effect the things that I enjoy.

  77. SI article:
    “Now, it’s also important to understand that TV ratings across the board—not just sports—are dropping for a large number of reasons, mostly related to technology, the amount of options people have, and cord cutting.”

    PFT article:
    “But when virtually every team in the league is drawing fewer viewers on local television than last year, that points to a bigger problem than the NFL has publicly acknowledged.”

    ————————————————————

    Apparently PFT failied to mention (from the article they referenced) that ALL TV ratings are down, so really, if the industry dropped as a whole then there’s nothing to worry about.

  78. So, a goon by the name of Anthony Barr sidelines one of football’s top two QB’s. You may love Rodgers or you may hate him. You may love Brady or you may hate him. But is there a fan out there who doesn’t want to see them play?
    =====

    My bucket list;

    1,000,199 – frontal lobotomy
    1,000,200 – watch a Yankee game
    1,000,201 – watch a Patriot game

  79. Who is politicizing the game? the people posting here about leaving because of politics. I love NFL and NCAA football and although the quality of NFL is struggling I will continue to watch.

  80. Too many teams. NFL rosters are what, 53 now? And there’s 32 franchises. For a sport like football, that’s probably 8 too many to sustain a quality on field product. Imagine if you got rid of even just 4 franchises. Go back to 28, like it was in the 90s. Suddenly the best players—over 200—from those teams get absorbed by the remaining 28. The draft and free agency aren’t so watered down. The bottom of every teams roster is better able to adapt to all the injuries. Coaching staffs are better. You just have more and better competition across the board. The weekly schedule is not as saturated with pathetic games nobody wants to see. But… then the owners lose 4 of their cash machines. Which is why it never happens.

  81. Anyone who wants to blame the anthem protests for the decline in viewership is stupid. 1) most people tune in to the games after they have begun. They don’t tune in to watch the national anthem being played, so blaming the drop in viewership on the protests isn’t disingenuous 2) As a Sunday ticket customer, I channel surf between games to watch my fantasy football players in action. I imagine that most Sunday tickets customers also do that, so the Nielsen ratings might not capture accurately that segment of the viewer population. 3) Most of my friends & family stream their games, like most millennials do. Nielsen has yet to catch up with measuring those streaming numbers. 4) Red Zone channel. 5) Too many TV timeouts. Some people channel surf during TV timeouts & come across movies or tv shows, & then forget (or don’t care) to channel surf back to the games. These are more probable reasons than putting the blame on the national anthem protests.

  82. Can we just eliminate challenge flags and go back to subjective calls? Replay completely ruins gameflow and takes a lot of responsibility out of being a quality official. The games are just so fragmented that it’s hard to get immersed anymore.
    =====

    Sorry, not for me!

    The refs blow big calls on a weekly basis.

    Can’t give the refs more power at this point. Not until faith is restored that these men can do their jobs appropriately, or at least on a level that doesn’t incite fan outrage.

  83. tokyosandblaster says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:07 am
    Because Trump told sheep what to care about.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Seeing that this is just a continuation of the last 2 years, it would be foolish to mention Trump.

  84. Michael E says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Boycott NFL sponsors.

    Anheuser-Busch

    Campbell’s Soup Company
    Castrol

    FedEx
    Frito-Lay
    Gatorade

    Mars Snackfood
    Microsoft

    Papa John’s
    Pepsi
    Procter & Gamble
    Quaker

    Visa
    ————————

    What? I might as well stop eating and drinking and driving.

    USAA is military. Are we boycotting them as well?

  85. “The no hitting in practice is like telling a surgeon he can’t read the x rays or review his surgical books before he performs surgery. ”
    ______________

    There have been legendary football coaches (check out John Gagliardi sometime) who NEVER hit during practice yet won championships. Full-contact practices at the NFL level just invites more injuries. The NFL has tons of issues–including a confusing and bloated rule book–but the positively do NOT need more injuries.

  86. Wait till those season ticket packages for next year come out. Resell ticket agencies may buy a lot less stock.

  87. I stopped playing fantasy football two years ago. All popular entertainment over time loses some of it’s peak audience. For me, it has a lot to do with a really amoral group of owners and too much domestic violence tolerated by those owners. That coupled with all the news about the long term health effects on the players makes football a lot less appealing.

  88. It would be so nice to just have sports without the needless interjection of extortion and racial tension from players who make millions. It would be nice for these impacted players to do things on their off time like JJ Watt did for his people. Quite frankly I find no compassion for any of the causes that these players are shoving in our faces; as a gay man, I know full well none of these clowns are about equality since they’d shun a gay player in a heart beat. Let them eat cake.

  89. If i was charged with improving ratings, I’d increase inside access to teams and players. 6 teams featured on hard knocks – either all on one show or individually (bet it helped the bucs bc why else watch them). Show more player preparation and the human side of the players. Get the audience as emotionally invested as the games as gamblers are financially invested in the games (if a football game seems boring to you, go ahead and gamble on it and watch the interest level go up up up).

  90. When you pander to a group that wouldn’t be considered “sports people”, what do you expect? The people that agree with the protests generally are very anti NFL, for a myriad of reasons.

  91. Good to know that freedom of expression isn’t nearly as important to the “patriotic” right as they say it is, as we now have more proof that they have no qualms with using the almighty dollar to effectively silence expression they don’t agree with.

  92. Wait till those season ticket packages for next year come out.

    Wait…what about the ones for this year? Haven’t you been complaining since Kaepernick first did this in August of 2016? Or did it take you guys a year to get organized and NOW you mean to boycott? Thought you were all boycotting already.

  93. I get so bored with a game that isn’t my team. Because every big catch or big run. Every score and every turnover and every big hit has to be reviewed for 5 minutes. You get to see the replay 60 times in super slo mo Hd then the refs come back and change a call theta even the announcers and ex head of officiating say I don’t think there’s anyway that this call get overturned. 5 minutes later ruling on the field has been changed. And it always seems to help the big market(money) teams. And then the worst penalty in football. It is a penalty so the game can be manipulated by refs. The defensive holding. Should neverbe an automatic first down. And it always seems to happen on 3rd and long when the qb is blitzed and has no time to do anything but throw it away.

  94. The excuse is always “cord cutting.” But no one ever asks, WHY are people cord cutting? It’s because people are sick of the politics of ESPN and the NFL. That’s why I cut the cord.

  95. bjbroderick says:
    October 19, 2017 at 11:38 am
    When you pander to a group that wouldn’t be considered “sports people”, what do you expect? The people that agree with the protests generally are very anti NFL, for a myriad of reasons.
    ———————————————————

    Where did you pull this out of? This kind of stupid assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth.

  96. Ratings are down..lets examine why.
    Self indulgent players who think the playing of the national anthem is the right time to protest.

    Owners who are to cowardly to stand up to their players (ie employees) and tell them to stand for the anthem or sit on the bench.

    Refs who appear to be blatantly biased week after week (but not according to the NFLRA who think fans are to stupid to understand the way games are called.) And penalties called when there obviously wasn’t one based on the replay.

    I can’t wait until it’s time for the owners to renew their TV contracts. If the ratings continue to decline then they can forget about getting more money to broadcast their games. And in the end it will be their fault even though they will never admit it.

  97. I began to tune out when:
    – they started running commercials after scores, PATs, and kickoffs
    – commercials during poorly executed replay reviews
    – when they changed the clock rules allowing the clock to run after incompletions and out of bounds plays (to shorten game time and fewer plays)
    – when games ran past 4:00 due to commercials when they used to end at 3:30 or 3:45
    – overall inferior product to 10+ years ago

    I am almost completely tuned out now:
    – politicized the pre-game, game and post game
    – players are largely unaware and disrespectful of their place in the big picture
    – owners have literally no clue what it’s like to be a normal, every day American watching football
    – Goodell…

  98. This started before the whole Kaepernick thing.
    Lots of fans outside of the AFC East know the Tom Brady/Deflategate mess was a killer for the NFL’s reputation.
    When owners huddle together to take down a player or team that you cannot beat on the field then your product becomes rancid.
    The explanations, the whining from the other teams, the obvious double standard and witch hunt…
    Fans were already tuning out before any kneeling took place.
    Does it help?
    No, but the stink was already there.

  99. aarons444 says:
    October 19, 2017 at 10:59 am
    So, a goon by the name of Anthony Barr sidelines one of football’s top two QB’s. You may love Rodgers or you may hate him. You may love Brady or you may hate him. But is there a fan out there who doesn’t want to see them play?
    =====

    My bucket list;

    1,000,199 – frontal lobotomy
    1,000,200 – watch a Yankee game
    1,000,201 – watch a Patriot game

    ——————
    So next up is a Yankees game huh?

  100. Because NFL is bland, boring and not entertaining anymore. I never thought it possible to feel this way, but I no longer really care about NFL SUndays…if I am near a TV, I may check a game out for a few minutes…but the league does not hold my attention any longer. It is just a 3 1/2 hour commercial punctuated by inane announcers and occasional boring plays. It is sad to see it happen.

  101. Remember the “Occupy Wall Street” protest a few years back? They never really got traction because the financial firms, local residents, and the media treated them as an annoyance.

    This feels like “Occupy Football” or “Occupy Sports” where anyone with an ax to grind has a ready made audience, and the echo chamber of sites like this.

    Still a vast number of eyes and ears – even if it falls 10% every year. And since the protesters (unlike owners, networks and advertisers) pay NOTHING to grab the stage, it is reasonable to expect that the protests will spread.

    It is also reasonable to expect that fans and viewers will put up with the siege until they have had enough. The tricky part is understanding the point where fan loyalty becomes irreparably damaged.

  102. NFL cooked the golden goose.

    Goodell and the NFL owners in this era have been blinded by greed. The latest CBA is viewed as a triumph for the owners when in reality having such an advantage given to the owners has made their collective greed more visible.

    Goodell and his “drunk with power” behavior with his disciplinary kangaroo court is rightly perceived by fans as a mockery of fairness with deceitful tactics and spending obscene legal fees to punish the accused player while refusing to install cameras on goal lines because “it’s too expensive” says John Mara.

    Meanwhile, the CBA also significantly cut contact drills at practices and the quality of play on the field is suffering because of it.

    The referees throw too many flags, replay reviews, and the they still often get the call wrong.

    Finally, NFL Public relations does not exist. They react, they don’t know how to promote a positive image and are in fact reacting all the time to negative topics about the league and its players. The NFL completely failed on the kneeling issues by doing nothing last year with appalling lack of foresight, they allowed the kneeling during the anthem issue to become a runaway train of polarization between fans, players, and politics.

    Pathetic

  103. mikeoxwells says:
    October 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    There are a lot of people on this website “not paying attention to the NFL anymore”.

    ——————
    I dont think there are that many that will just up and quit or do a full boycott. What is happening though is that watching football moves down people’s priority lists so that people that used to watch religeously now just do it when opportunity is there and miss the rest. And those missed games are adding up to a lot of missed football.

  104. Jazz rocks! says:
    October 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm
    mikeoxwells says:
    October 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    There are a lot of people on this website “not paying attention to the NFL anymore”.

    ——————
    I dont think there are that many that will just up and quit or do a full boycott. What is happening though is that watching football moves down people’s priority lists so that people that used to watch religeously now just do it when opportunity is there and miss the rest. And those missed games are adding up to a lot of missed football.
    _________________________________________________________

    Well said..

    I watch my team (Giants) and also the Jets since they’re local.

    Other games not so much any more, unless its to root against Dallas.

  105. Bottom line…. I’m upset with the 32 billionaires that own and totally control EVERYTHING that happens in the NFL. Including everything everyone wears from the type of and color of shoes, socks and wristbands. It’s arranged in the players contract, approved by the players and their union that if a players says or does ANYTHING that injures their teams or the NFL’s image or reputation they can be FIRED!

    Now that the players have injected racial politics into NFL TV broadcasts and those 32 billionaires are too afraid to tell their black employees, 70% of the league, NO, you cannot hijack our broadcasts to make political statements, then We, the fans that pay all of them have to make a business decision too.

    If you are going to boycott NFL broadcasts until the owners eliminate politics from their broadcasts… click on thumbs up👍

    If you agree with the owners and want to see racial politics included in each broadcast… click on thumbs down 👎.

  106. weeteblog says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:36 am
    Investigation, suspensions, bountygate, deflategate, Article 46, cant tell us what a catch is, protest, games on Sunday/Monday/Thursday, court hearings, temporary restraining orders, injunctions, collusion against Kaepernick accusations, games in London that nobody wants to see, NFLPA, CBA, lawyers

    Thats just off the top of my head….I’m sure I left a lot out. Want to know why ratings are down, just look at some of the things above. Football isnt about football anymore, its about everything bad surrounding football, its rules that nobody can make sense of and games on 3 nights a week. Its all too much!

    —————
    I agree its not just the protests, its all those things. And some of those are bells that cant be unrung either. What the NFL needs to do is look at that list, discard the historical stuff as be8ng sailed ships, and focus on changing the rest. Its not just the protest still making a difference, but its partially the protest trying to deny that is silly at this point.

    IMHO anyone wearing a team uniform should be disallowed from furthering any and I mean any personal agenda and/or politics while wearing that unifirm. What they do outside of it then that is their business, no one should say squat about that either. In fact if a person is giving their own personal time and effort it inot a bad thing to at least give it a listen to. For those that are going to say its their first amendment rights to protest in uniform it is not. For those that are going to say it should be a first amendment right to protest at work be careful what you wish for, you are only thinking about protests you like as you make that argument.

  107. NYGiants516 says:
    October 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I watch my team (Giants) and also the Jets since they’re local.

    Other games not so much any more, unless its to root against Dallas.

    —————
    Interesting. I alwys wondered who Giants fans rooted against more between the Cowboys and the Patriots. Was it still somewhat close? Or given the history if the Giants are making a run on the NFC side are they kind of rooting for the Patriots on the AFC side.

  108. The ratings at MSESPN & the NFL can’t go down far enough for me.

    Next time an NFL player says they want NBA type money they can thank Che Kaep and all the other pawns for decreasing their salaries not raising them.

  109. Live streaming for NFL games is rampant, which is why ratings are down. As far as the anthem goes, players should stand for the anthem, but better yet players should just stop coming out on the field for the anthem.like they did prior to 2009. Our idiot president sticking his nose in this issue is ridiculous. He should be worried about the nuclear war he might start, and other domestic and world affairs.

  110. I’m curious how much of a typical 3.5 hour game broadcast actually includes anything to do with player protests.

    The way some people make it sound, mainly by the extent to which they seem affected by what they deem offensive, is that the entire broadcast is saturated with political protest content.

    I don’t really know….I typically won’t sit down to watch a game until after the opening kickoff (mainly because I can’t stand the broadcast analysts babbling away as they all do before the game starts) but either there isn’t a whole lot mentioned after that, or I have been successful at tuning it out.

  111. I dont think there are that many that will just up and quit or do a full boycott. What is happening though is that watching football moves down people’s priority lists so that people that used to watch religeously now just do it when opportunity is there and miss the rest. And those missed games are adding up to a lot of missed football

    ——

    I’m not one to boycott because of the protests. I also wouldn’t do that sort of protest myself. I feel the players have a right to protest, and the owners have a right to do something about it if they choose to, which so far they haven’t done much.

    I have a number of reasons for not watching games….as a guy that loves to be outdoors, Sunday afternoons in the fall are too precious to spend indoors if the weather is nice. I’ll watch more games during December and January, or if it is raining hard. Back in the day when we had 2 Sunday afternoon times slots and Monday Night football, I watched all I could. Then came Sunday night games and a few Thursday night games. Add hours of pregame shows. and Thursday night games every week. color rush uniforms (please, at least get rid of these). Replays of games on NFL Network along with a host of other shows.

    NFL football went from being must-see TV to always there TV. It is no longer a special event.

    Younger people….they are growing up in an environment where the product already over-saturates the market. They didn’t live in a time where you only got to see a couple games a week, and no replays of games (like back when you watched it live or you didn’t watch it.) There are so many other entertainment options. Football is just another one of the options.

  112. Lots of comments, lots of kudos for the non-watchers and against the kneelers, etc. But, since all of them are reading PFT, I assume they are all watching anyhow.

  113. As much as people want to make it about the politics, the ratings issues began before this.

    This issues are numerous

    What is a Catch?
    Why is there illegal contact being called on every 3rd down?
    Why can’t you evenly enforce penalties system wide?
    Why do certain teams get the clear calls on a game by game basis?
    Why did you ruin special teams, particularly kickoffs?
    Why do players no longer know how to tackle? (new CBA and limited practices?)
    Why is every big play getting called back?
    What happened to the larger than life personalities and playmakers like Terrell Owens? (legislated out of the game)
    How does the league keep getting itself in these legal messes with players?
    Why is o-line play so bad (because refs are calling holding on every team too much BESIDES New England and Greenbay, who can hold as much as they like)
    Why has the run game in many places been replaced by the bubble screen, which is horribly more boring?
    Why couldn’t players celebrate before this year?

    the product on the field is just crap. I don’t think ratings are down because because of Kaep or politics. its down because we aren’t missing much not watching.

  114. I don’t think it is totally the players kneeling. After all Marshawn Lynch said he was doing it for some time. It was just that no one noticed. Kapernick started out sitting and no one noticed for a while until some reporter spotted him. It was a Green Beret that suggested that Kapernick kneel. Even after Trump threw in his two cents it was fewer last week. It is possible there is just too much football on. In a 32 team league unless you really love football what stars are out there that you really want to watch. Rodgers is out for the year. JJ Watt is probably out for the year. Beckham despite his selfishness is someone people want to watch. 6 games in to the season there isn’t a super team out there. With out Brady the Pats would probably be less than 500. The Chiefs and Eagles are 5 and 1 but is there any one you want to watch on those two teams. The New York teams and the Bears are terrible. Oakland which was supposed to be good is 2 and 3. The Cowboys are mediocre right now. When you don’t have the big teams that even the rest of the country will watch playing mediocre you are not going to get a lot of viewers. Throw in some really lousy Thursday night games and it is no wonder people are not watching. I think a lot of people have stopped watching because of the head injuries. I would add in high cable costs so you have a lot of people cutting the chord. It is a confluence of events that are causing a lot of people to stop watching. It just isn’t Kaeprnick. As for those of you complaining about Bob Costas for example or talking to much about the players, grow up. It is news and should be covered.

  115. The NFL’s ratings kept rising year. Outlets reported that there was no reason to think that would stop any time soon. Then Kaepernick happened. Now viewership is in a precipitous drop largely because the NFL didn’t stop their players from protesting while on the job.

  116. Politics is only ruining the other 50% of the product that Goodell has already ruined.

    Totally agree with the laundry comments. Every play I’m looking for yellow. The only qualification for being a ref in the NFL today is how many acting classes they have taken.

    The product stinks. Pure and simple. Add player discipline and a boat load of incompetence from the NY office and it becomes about finding something better to do pretty quickly. If Netflix is more entertaining than the NFL you know something is wrong.

  117. The players hijacked the NFL’s broadcasts to start a racial political movement and the owners willingly allowed it.

    I’m more discussed with the 32 billionaires that have total absolute control of this entertainment enterprise… that is NO LONGER entertaining.

    No more NFL football for me in this lifetime. Over and out!👎

  118. 146

    6

    Rate This

    boxscore20k says:

    October 19, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I laugh at moron’s saying the country is going down the tubes – I don’t know about you but I love the stock market soaring and my 401K’s growing for a change – unlike the last 8 years

    Yeah 4400 point / 18% Since 1/6/2017. I hope Trumpy keeps up his terrible job …

  119. seabrawk12 says:
    October 19, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Here’s an idea. DON’T FILM THE BENCHES DURING THE ANTHEM. Just focus on who is singing and the flag. Don’t give it publicity and there will be none.

    Oh wait, I forgot. We live in a country that thrives on controversy and publicity.

    Silly me.
    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    You are correct.

  120. Jets who didn’t kneel and are solid hillarytown aren’t watching. Maybe it’s demographics are changing, people are streaming TV veiwership is down as a whole not cuz the NASCAR crowd are boycotting.

  121. The NFL is all about players and owners that only care about money and themselves. The game is now all about fantasy football and offense, defense is now an afterthought.
    I used to watch as much football as possible, now I have only watch one full game this year. Pride and greed has ruined a wonderful game. I don’t even like wearing or displaying anything with my childhood team anymore. Maybe I just matured and realized that there are much better ways to invest my time.

  122. All I can comment about is myself. I personally have lost no love for the game of football or the NFL. As a Raiders fan I watch every game. But other than that one game a week, I watch Redzone and I don’t pay for it either!!! I think a lot of other fans are doing that as well. Fantasy Football is a big thing. I have two teams going right now. The easiest way to keep track of your players is Redzone. If some don’t watch because of politics that’s on them. I for one love football and always will. I’ll never stop watching, but I will watch for free as much as I can before anything else!!!

  123. The baby boomers are changing. I suspect the TV increase has come from baby boomers who have money. Behind the baby boomers is ………………………………?

  124. Here’s some fun math: The average American hourly wage, according to the U.S. Dept of Labor, is approximately $22/hour.

    In 2016, the NFL brought in $13 billion in revenue. That takes over 590 million labor hours to generate on a pre-tax basis (It’s significantly higher using net after-tax dollars!).

    With the NFL salary cap at $167 million, over 7.5 million gross labor hours are necessary to cover the player’s wages for each and every team that spends to the cap.

    The NFL has taken its fans for granted, price gouged them, & strong-armed cities into giving sweetheart deals to keep or recruit teams. I don’t think they appreciate just how supportive fans have to be in order for the league to pursue their growth-at-any-cost mission. If they did, maybe they wouldn’t look to stick it to the people making them rich every chance they get. No wonder people are tuning out.

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