Ratings decline could soon become more pronounced

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Last year, the ratings decline subsided after the presidential election. This year, there was no presidential election, which means there likely will be no post-election bounce in the ratings.

With the final eight weeks of the regular season beginning tonight, there’s no reason to think this year’s troubling trend will change, because there’s no reason for people to return to following football after the various debates and town halls and other political shows and specials that sucked people away from watching football before November 8, 2016. And with, as Darren Rovell of ESPN noted on Wednesday, total ratings are down 5.5 percent through the first nine weeks of 2017 in comparison to the first nine weeks of 2016, the absence of a post-election bounce means the gap is about to get bigger.

It’s unclear what the NFL can do on the fly to avoid that. It’s unclear whether the NFL is trying to. One solution would be the aggressive use of flexing to ensure that the best games will be played in the biggest Sunday spots, rules that limited flexibility be damned.

Creativity will be needed to fix this one, and it needs to be applied not after the season ends but in real time. For a league that has grown accustomed to smooth sailing and ever-rising numbers, there may be no mechanism in place for dealing with this kind of crisis. There should be; otherwise, the other kinds of crises the league is confronting will continue to take precedence.

213 responses to “Ratings decline could soon become more pronounced

  1. It’s so easy to fix, it’s not difficult in the slightest. Cut waaaay back on the amount of flags thrown. Loosen up on the amount of roughing the passer calls. You’ll see ratings bounce back once the amount of flags per game shrinks significantly.

  2. I’ll bang this drum till I can’t anymore; Give more fans more choice. Give me the ability to watch my team, every week, without buying into the ridiculous greedy and anti-competitive DirecTV package, and I’ll have eyes on a screen all the time.

    Terrible games between teams I don’t care about mean I don’t watch.

    What a novel concept.

  3. I started watching College Football with all the kneeling in the NFL. I’ll try the NFL again next year. I can get all the info I need from this site that I miss.

  4. Everyone keeps talking about ratings decline for the NFL but lets not be fooled here, the NFL will always top all the other professional sports (NBA,NHL,MLB) because football comes on once a week while those other sports have games everyday!!

  5. How about fix the product on the field? DET-GB on MNF was only interesting to Lion fans.

    But just look around the NFL. There are only 2 or 3 good teams 26 or so average teams and 2 or 3 awful teams.

    It’s not fun to watch average.

    Of course there are other minor problems with the NFL, protests, cord cutting, commercial length, Goodell and suspensions/ investigations, concussions Etc. Those are all very minor compared to the product on the field.

    People like to argue that these players are easily replaced, which just isn’t true. Tell that to any team with an injury to a top player.

  6. I’ll always watch, players exercising their first amendment rights won’t cause me to stop watching, maybe it will for some of you false Americans but not me

  7. Watch when the Corporate Names Start dropping of stadiums like goose turds on a golf course then good ol Rodger boy really deserves a pay cut , I️ say we print up T-shirt’s that say “ IAM WITH JERRY “

  8. What the NFL can do:

    1. Fire Goodell;
    2. New Commissioner mandates respect for the anthem (just like NBA);
    3. TEBOW appointed head of the NFL Players Association; and
    4. NFL and NFLPA donate X million toward a police training program.

    What the NFL will do:
    1. Nothing.

  9. It’s inevitable. The NFL has reached peak saturation. Games on too many night. Too many pregame shows. Just too much football. I consider myself a big football fan and I’m tired of football. There is no anticipation any more. There’s always a game on. Quit trying to make the game international. The protests have had a minimal effect on me. All the coverage of it is though. I and I think a lot of other people are just slowly losing enthusiasm for the game.

  10. The NFL is I’m bad shape. Like a pretty girl in a small town, it never had to work hard to earn it’s keep. Now that things are changing, it’s slow to react and refuses to accept the reality.

  11. It”# all about the QB! Tonight’s game between AZ and Seattle would be great if AZ had a QB but they don’t so I will not waste my time watching this game. I am a fan of a single team and never miss their game.
    I used to watch all the other games in between and have now stopped in most cases. The kneeling was part of it but the quality of the play, too many stupid flags for everything stopping action, etc.

  12. The market is saturated, games on Monday, Thursday, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, and Sunday evening. All offense, no defense – – it’s like the NBA. Players celebrating after every first down or tackle regardless of the score. Players taunting fans after they score.

    Fans don’t want football politicized, having to watch out of touch millionaires kneel for the anthem or Kaep try to browbeat a team into signing him. The guy is too much of a distraction, and signing him would alienate a large portion of a fan base. No one seems to account for that in the media, but that is exactly what would happen. I never thought the NFL would be a space where Social Justice Warriors would be able to penetrate and make prolonged noise.

    With all of the personal fouls and other superficial penalties, we’ll be watching flag football in 10 years. Maybe the NFL should start looking at these issues and ratings may increase.

  13. Its the players, the media, the greed of the owners and Goodell, lousy quarterbacks, injuries, boring games, rules and refs – it all works together to make you ask yourself :

    Is all this crap worth giving up all that time and or money on a Sunday to cheer for THIS?

    Certain games yes…most games? absolutely NOT.

  14. Have a rule in place that requires players to stand during the narional anthem or be fined/suspended. Also have less Thursday night games due to the home team having a huge advantage. Lastly, have a few more Monday night double header games. I think doing this will help.

  15. It seems to me like there’s a lot more unwatchable bad teams this year than usual. A lot of games are either blowouts between a good team and an unwatchable team, or just two bad teams no one cares about. Upcoming Sunday night blowouts include Patriots Broncos, Giants Redskins, and Packers Steelers. Yawn.

  16. Lets see…
    Rodgers down, Luck down, OBJ down, Zeke in & out, 49ers have no qb,
    No one likes color rush, or Thursday night football or London games.
    How about the big markets? Giants & Jets stink. Bears stink. 49ers stink, Raiders treading water then skipping town…
    Add in the kneeling, the whining about the kneeling, the politicization of the whining about the kneeling…
    This is going to be a down year.

  17. Maybe they should address the fact that they alienated at least half of their fans by bringing politics into the sport. I know the NFL/NBC/PFT official response is likely that the two are unrelated. Which is their prerogative. But the key to any effective solution is to first understand the problem. I would argue that the NFL and its broadcasting partners clearly don’t understand the problem.

  18. Force politics out of the NFL. It won’t ‘fix’ the ratings decline because lots of the people not viewing will be angry for a while. Call it a tactical retreat. Pull back-remove politics, draw a new defense line-apologize, retake ground-ST*U and play hoping viewership comes back.

  19. those boycotts are really doing the trick. Thanks President Trump, you can add starting the demise of the NFL to your long list of accomplishments

  20. Rather than having debates over which reasons are contributiong, many of which get off track from the politically based responses, they should just consider all possibilities as contributing a share to the single problem and address all of them. No more wasting time on “its this nit that” stuff.

    Their real problem is not guys boycotting in a snit. Im sure there are some but not enough to be more than a blip on the number.the real problem is a gtowing apathy toward the game that is fed by multiple things. So guys arent quitting football, they just arent trying as hard. They dont work like they used to to make sure their schedule is always clear when football is on. Things that once werent allowed to get in the way of watching football now do get in the way of watching football. They only watch when there is not a conflict. This doesnt result in boycotts but instead guys now just missing some amount that they used to not miss. And its these little amounts from so nany viewers that add up to a ratings drop, not a boycott. So really its the apathy and not the anger that the NFL needs to address.

  21. Cable TV viewership is down 8%. NFL viewership is down 5%. The math says that you can’t make new viewers magically appear. The NFL is doing better than cable TV in general.

    The problem is that millenials are not buying cable TV packages for $150. They are instead spending $10/mo on Netflix or stream for free on their phones and tablets.

    You continue to label this as an NFL problem as does Trump but the fact is people are leaving cable TV for cheaper alternatives.

    The NFL has as big a slice of the pie as they always have, probably bigger. It’s the pie that continues to shrink.

  22. The owners have a single product and seem unable to diversify. Certainly they would not want to create a competitive product so the solution is to find another commercial product like Australian Rules Football that is played from February to September. Because of the small salary caps of the teams (@11 – 12 million for the ENTIRE team), the nature of the game and the distances the owners can buy into the individual clubs (currently 18) and promote the AFL using the NFL Channels. The owners would then have a second product to sell to the advertisers, a new game to promote without the cost of owning another US based sports team, new markets for the NFL, etc. Unfortunately the one visionary who could see the enormous opportunity (for a relative pittance) is Jerry Jones and he is focused solely on US football. It’s a shame because the American sports fan rarely sees the incredibly exciting organized chaos of an AFL game (Fox broadcasts one or two games a week during the AFL season) while the NFL owners are missing the opportunity to fix the problem of declining ratings by increasing the ratings during the “Off Season” using a product they could easily control.

  23. Stop running games “7 days a week” and overseas, too. Used to look forward to Sunday games and maybe Monday nite football but the NFL has saturated the market to the point of it going in the opposite direction. Pure greed!

  24. The NFL is a dinosar, not using the Tech available in this age. They use chains to measure, lasers work better. Replays are a disaster no way to over rule bad calls, like the one in Seattle the other night. Officiating is uneven, never the same penalty by different sets of officials who are part time in a billion dollar business. Calls obvious to the few remaining fans go uncorreced. There are only 16 games, two bad losses by officiating will kill a season. There is no doubt that the Ravens lost two games to bad calls. Seven professional players are sitting out each game and the fans are forced to watch a center trying to play guard because the guard is injured when there is a true professional sitting on the bench. No body cares about getting things right, just go on as is. Every game is televised somewhere. why should I watch a trash game when a good one is available. The League plays favorites, You touch Brady with a finger and it fifteen yards, you can take Joe Flacco’s head off and it is fifteen yards and a small fine. Thursday night football was a mistake by greedy owners who are now paying for it. Will they fix that, you bet they won’t I used to watach every game. They quality of the product isn’t there anymore. There are only five or six teams worth watching. They rest are using quarterbacks that shouldn’t even be in the NFL and many are making $20,000,000 to the detriment of the quality of the rest of the team. I watch one game a week if it is worthy. I don’t have 3 1/2 hours to watch San Francisco play Cleveland. New Orleans and Atlanta, Maybe.

  25. “It’s unclear what the NFL can do on the fly to avoid that. It’s unclear whether the NFL is trying to. One solution would be the aggressive use of flexing to ensure that the best games will be played in the biggest Sunday spots, rules that limited flexibility be damned.”

    This will do nothing to increase veiwership for fans like me.

    I now only watch my team play. It wouldn’t matter if #1 and #2 were matched up on a Sunday night – if my team ain’t playing – I’m not watching.

    Example – MNF this week was the Packers vs the Lions. My team is the Vikings, so the results of this game were important to my team. Didn’t watch.

    Did I track it on my phone? Yes. Did I use the NFL app or an ESPN app? No.

    I’m not giving the NFL any more (money, viewership, merchandise, etc) than I have to in order to follow my team. ESPN – well – they don’t deserve any more than I have to either as long as they employ the likes of Jemele Hill.

    Actions have consequences. Failure to act has consequences too.

  26. I think the ratings improve when the weather gets bad whether there’s an election going on or not. That said the NFL is hard to watch anymore. It was hard to watch last year until that Christmas Day Ravens Steelers game too. After that, all of a sudden the NFL was exciting again.

  27. Pretty simple – take a knee and your ratings take a knee. I cancelled my season tickets after 17 seasons (more seasons earlier from my late father) and got the Sunday ticket. While I still get excited for the upcoming game on Sunday morning, I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. I have not seen a single kickoff this year because I don’t want to see these protests of the National Anthem. I have only watched my Buffalo Bills games. I have not purchased any merchandise, I usually get a new jersey and a New Era hat for the season. These fellas bit the hand that feeds them and they are going to feel the repercussions.

  28. From my perspective, the quality of play has gone down in recent years. This might be due to the NFLPA limiting padded practices and players just being more sloppy at game time. I find myself not excited for football Sundays anymore.

    I watch less.

    Referees throw too many flags and over-analyze too many plays. You can’t even get excited when your team scores a touchdown anymore because you almost always have to wait for referee approval, or wait for them to throw a flag.

    I watch less.

  29. eagleswin says:

    Cable TV viewership is down 8%. NFL viewership is down 5%. The math says that you can’t make new viewers magically appear. The NFL is doing better than cable TV in general.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    You don’t need cable (or satellite) to watch most NFL games. Many people can, and do, watch broadcast games on an antenna.

    So much for your cable tv comparison.

  30. some of these people want to believe its because of the protest lmao! news flash it has nothing to do with it. Too much to do now these days with very little time. I know the local bars around here are always packed. Also, us millennials’ are cutting cable old timers, so add that to your “back in my day list”

  31. TV ratings are down on everything, not just football. I believe more people are interested in NFL football than at any time in my life, they just don’t all watch it on TV. There are other ways to consume games besides TV. The NFL set an all time record for revenue last year, so if TV ratings were down, that proves my point. My kids and all the other kids in the neighborhood have already put in their NFL jersey requests for Christmas. The bottom line is the bottom line. The bottom line has these $$$$$ things in front of it.

  32. You have maybe 5-6 teams who are playing above average, quality football. The rest are brutal to watch.

    Then you add the other garbage.

    More stadiums will start to resemble the WNBA soon.

  33. This house of cards is step one in Kaeps “Kill Hypocrisy” Tour and I love it!!

    #rememberwhenusaidsnoflake?

  34. For me I started to lose interest starting with Ray Rice, Deflategate, NFL being dishonest and now more controversy. Don’t we all long for the day when during the week the conversation was about matchups, schemes and anticipation for the games? Now NFL coverage is like turning on Foxnews, MSNBC and CNN. And it’s not getting better.

  35. Easily solved.
    Players…shut up, be humble, and play football.
    Owners…shut up, be invisible.
    Media…focus on football.

  36. If the issue is over saturation, the best solution would be to not make a big public push to fix things. If you want a fire to burn for a long time, you don’t make it as big as possible to generate a ton of heat at once. you plan for a small fire and ration the fuel out. I would think, allow and plan for a little decline. Allow your product to become a little more refined, and plan for a smaller but longer term business going forward. Pull Thursday night football. Ditch the foreign soil games for a few years. Allow football to become special again.

  37. Just read the results of the fans that were interviewed, over 50% said the kneeling has impacted their watching, attending games etc. Don’t guess, just read the statistics.

    Many of the stadiums are half empty.

    People don’t like Ghetto Football…

  38. edon8334 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:13 am
    those boycotts are really doing the trick. Thanks President Trump, you can add starting the demise of the NFL to your long list of accomplishments
    *************************************************************
    You still can’t see that it’s the complete opposite?

    Wow.

  39. Politics, contracts, league disputes, ownership infighting, suspension, and the never ending discussion about it has become the product, not football. Nobody want to see this garbage.

  40. Maybe the ratings are down from all the Packer “owners” jumping off the bandwagon with their team going down the drain.

  41. There’s no parity in the league, so it just gets boring. With all do respect, no one wants to watch the Patriots in the Super Bowl again.

  42. Maybe people are just getting tired of the players claiming they’re slaves, when they make millions of dollars to play a game while the rest of us work real jobs. Maybe people are tired to politics invading the football field, when football used to be a way to escape from all of that garbage for a few hours.

    When the overall league revenue starts to shrink and the salary cap starts to drop, maybe that will make the players listen, since the only thing they care about is their money (just like the owners).

  43. dustinbrady1215 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 6:55 am
    No one on Earth more right than Mark Cuban!!

    ———-

    well, his NBA team is 2-10. I’d be curious to know what their ratings are.

  44. 1. Oversaturation

    2. BS rules like the Jets “fumble-TD” with Austin Sefarian Jones vs the Patriots, Dez Bryant in the playoffs, and Calvin Johnsons catch. The “whole process” is BS.

    3. I dislike the arbitrary punishments meeted out by Goodell, have a different arbiter, not the commissioner.

    4. MOST IMPORTANT – the games are not interesting. The NFL has a QB shortage and an OLinemen shortage, and the games are not worth interesting. The Jags can win on defense but don’t tell me that Bortles throwing screen passes makes him a good QB. I can’t stand watching Jags games.

    5. There is parity, other than the patriots. Not a Pats fan but kudos to Belichick for keeping the team competitive for 15+ years. Its not just Brady (that sure helps) he makes a good team. The rest of the teams don’t learn, as they are making the same stupid mistakes year after year. All teams are equal but the patriots are more equal.

  45. Get rid of Thursday and Sunday night games. Stop going to London. Stop commercials after the kickoff.

    This is NOT because of the kneeling. This would have happened regardless. The NFL over saturates us (same with college football). QB injuries this year also isn’t helping.

  46. I watch my team and only my team 90% of the time. The quality of play has diminished, whether thats through lack of practice or whatever. But one big one for me is increasing movement of players between teams. Take Arinzona last weekend. How many former 9ers where on that team? Following a team now means almost zero continuity from season to season, frankly its spoils the whole team thing. No team is that same form year to year. Its almost like watching a different league each year. Its a meh experience now. At least in college football you can see development and a feeling of the players actually caring about anything other than a paycheque

  47. keep kneeling and injecting politics into our escapism entertainment and more and more viewers will tune out. It really is a simple concept, give the people what they want

  48. I watch my team and only my team 90% of the time. The quality of play has diminished, whether thats through lack of practice or whatever. But one big one for me is increasing movement of players between teams. Take Arinzona last weekend. How many former 9ers where on that team? Following a team now means almost zero continuity from season to season, frankly its spoils the whole team thing. No team is that same form year to year. Its almost like watching a different league each year. Its a meh experience now. At least in college football you can see development and a feeling of the players actually caring about anything other than a paycheque Parity doesnt exist and the ongoing search for it ruins and team ethic.

  49. “BS rules like the Jets “fumble-TD” with Austin Sefarian Jones vs the Patriots,”

    That one there I also thought was bull right when it happened. But the next day the NFL did a very good job backed by video and pictures explaining why that was the correct call and they proved right. The call was indeed correct it was not even close. I know there were some sore losers that didnt want to hear that, when a person desires to be mad they will tune out any reason why they should not be. And I get it. Its sometimes easier to blame someone else and not admit your team or player fell short. Especially when they fall short a lot. But really whats being asked by those folks isnt a correct call, those folks want an incorrect call made in their favor.

  50. I’m sixty years old and run a company with 130 million in annual sales and the problem is unstoppable. The fans have had their fill of millionaire animals who can barely utter a two syllable word and who many have violent criminal records trying to wrest control of the sport.
    The flag thing just happened to be the last straw. You’ve got former players on TV with lengthy criminal rap sheets preening and acting as if they are important and most importantly you have IDIOT TV execs who actually put these animals on TV.
    It’s Planet of the Apes reality show. Seriously.

  51. I must be in the minority then because I love it… I watch it all; pregame, weekly shows, replays, and everything else football, including all the games I can. Do I always agree with everything? No. But you won’t find a better spectator sport in the world. I love the game, and I can’t get enough of it.

  52. Talking about this with some friends, the general consensus is that the product is setting stale. The media coverage of the same teams over and over. Games that are ho hum early with endless commercial breaks. Ticky tack penalties that make no sense, getting called on occasion and ignored on others. Even worse are some penalties that seem designed to make games closer or more exciting than they really are (hello glancing fingers off a QB’s face mask so we can have a hail mary). I find that a lot of younger kids find it boring to watch and many have never set foot in a stadium. Maybe its just a culture thing.

  53. I personally do not watch nearly as much football as I used to as it has become all about the money. My Oakland Raiders are now the Las Vegas Raiders in waiting and players getting away with disrespecting our National Anthem while telling me they are not and “I don’t get it” is garbage.You are at your JOB … act like it or lose it. The owners are just getting walked over by political activism and I’m not supporting it.

  54. mikeoxwells says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:25 am
    Here come all the posts from people on a website called profootballtalk.com claiming that they aren’t paying attention to the NFL anymore.
    ———————————————————
    I haven’t watched a game in weeks. I come here specifically to bask in the tears of the SJW’s.

  55. My complaint with the NFL. Gear too expensive. Tickets too expensive. The majority of the football teams suck. Owners should be held accountable for their lousy teams! If an owner doesn’t make an attempt to improve his team then they should be fined. Hell, just to watch Sunday Ticket I have to purchase a cable package just to have the honor to pay over $300 for “Sunday Ticket!” I don’t follow all 32 teams. Just one. The only way I get to watch football is through Verizon NFL mobile and that is restricted to my cell phone. I don’t want to watch football on Sunday on a cell phone. And, if my team is having a bad season what is the point?!

  56. I can’t stand the flag kneeling, but that’s not the only reason I am watching less and disgusted with the NFL. I only watch my Dolphins. The greedy owners and relocating teams and screwing over the fans, London games and Thursday night foootball. Greed is backfiring.

  57. Most games can be watched for free with HD antenna which only costs like $10 bucks on Amazon. So I don’t think cable cutting is as big of deal as you think it is. It’s a bunch of stuff like poor qb play, refs making to many bad calls, anthem protests, players always getting arrested and cleared for brutal crimes, crying about a football being barely underdeflated, to many injuries…… and the list goes on and on. But quality of play should be their biggest concern right now and refs should be punished for blatant bias like the Eagles vs Panthers games 1 penalty yard vs 120+ penalty yard when there was clearly a ton of missed calls.

  58. learysdisciples says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:51 am

    There’s no parity in the league, so it just gets boring. With all do respect, no one wants to watch the Patriots in the Super Bowl again.
    —————————

    There’s no parity because you have a bunch of owners that are more interested in milking their teams dry, than putting a quality product on the field. That, or they change coaching staffs every couple of years, or they keep hiring the same old retread coaches.

  59. I’ve been an NFL fan for 60 years and my wife and I still watch most games. My issues are these
    1. Catches are subject to more legalese than a credit card agreement
    2. Inconsistent officiating
    3. Get rid of Thursday night games unless the teams have a previous week bye.
    5. Forget London games
    6. 5 second instant replays always take 3 minutes of commercials.
    7. Use the college review system
    They have improved this year by getting rid of post kickoff commercials.

  60. horrible and inconsistent officiating, incomprehensible rules that seem to continually change, players showboating any time they make even a basic play, Goodell arbitrarily handing out fines and punishment(why isn’t AJ Green suspended when Mike Evans is?), Goodell’s vendettas against the Pats(and I hate the Pats) and his new one against Zeke(and I hate the Boys, over saturation of games, boring games between awful teams, being force-fed regional coverage even though I am not interested in any teams in my region, kneeling and the endless politicization of the game because if it, people have discovered that they have better things to do than spend 12 hours in front of a TV on Sunday watching 3 games, many ways to follow a game without actually watching given that interweb thingy.

  61. Tired of hearing about flexing. Not only is it disrespectful to fans who paid and arranged their schedules around published game times, it isn’t likely to work. There just arent enough good teams out there to justify it. Eagles and Rams drop 50-burgers last week – even as a fun it’s not good football to watch. It is boring. That is a leading reason why people stop tuning in – the product sucks (sorry People Who Don’t Understand the First Amendment and What it Protects).

    They need fewer time slots for football. They need to stop playing in foreign countries at odd times. They need fewer commercials. And at the risk of sounding like a PFT-commentator-conspiracist they need to stop making schedules that are favorable to certain teams (i.e. the Patriots), which might be difficult because the divisions are what they are.

  62. Apparently, despite the comments and the polls, it’s impossible to conceive that 1 out of 20 fans are frustrated enough that they will stop watching, or significantly cut back on the watching, because of the kneeling.

  63. Want to get things back to normal?

    Advertisers demand a 10% cut in advertising cost due to lack of viewership.

    Cut NFL players cap by 10% next year.

    Cut Goodell’s salary by 10% next year.

    Then you would see the changes needed in the NFL.

  64. It’s not the NFL’s job to deal with social issues and the social ills of America. Stop the anthem protests….if you have to let protesters stay inside the locker room during anthem, but don’t let them make a scene. And get rid of Thursday night.

  65. The game has got boring, to many rules, to much stoppage of play with officials getting together to call off sides and replays . The players and owners are so spoiled with the amount of money involved they can’t see in front of themselves. The game is second fiddle to all the drama off the field. So add that into the cost to watch your team play there is better things to do on Sunday. I still say the ratings would be worse if it wasn’t for the gambling effect of fantasy football. Fans do not go or turn on TV to watch a bunch of spoiled kids demonstrate when they have put their lives on the line for nothing.

  66. “It’s unclear what the NFL can do on the fly to avoid that.”

    It’s only unclear for those who are disconnected from the fans. Here’s a few suggestions:

    1. Have the commissioner end the anthem protests, and let the players know they are free to protest on their own time, when they are not representing the NFL (and wearing officially licensed NFL products).

    2. End the obsession with London. There will never be an NFL franchise in London until and unless European nations start playing American football in their high schools and universities. Until that starts happening, this pipe-dream needs to be moth-balled.

    3. End the exclusive contract with DirecTV for the Sunday Ticket, and open it to competition among all cable and satellite providers. DirecTV has the monopoly on this, and they don’t appreciate their existing customer base. Competition will change that.

    4. More fan appreciation from the players: Remember that the vast majority of your fans are middle class Americans making something close to the median income. Quit doing this to alienate the fan base.

    5. Drop the weekly Thursday night games designed solely to promote the NFL Network. The quality of these games is consistently hurt because of the short week. There are consistently players recovering from injuries suffered on Sunday who don’t play in these games that would otherwise play if the game were held the following Sunday, with a full week’s rest. This hurts the quality of the product.

    Food for thought, though I doubt anyone will listen.

  67. The media isn’t helping, either. Football fans are fans of the game. We want the games to be interesting football-wise, and we want the pre-game shows and other media to cover the games. Most of us barely care about the personal lives (or opinions) of those playing or coaching and even less about the league office itself. We like football. The game. The NFL is simply the mechanism by which the game we’re interested in is organized at the professional level but we don’t really care about that. It’s about the game, and the game is suffering at many levels right now: officiating, replay, quarterbacks, what’s a catch, “emphasis” on a different rule every year (this year is offensive PI, which KILLS momentum for both team and viewer), etc.

    Make the game better. Cover the game better. People will watch more.

  68. So many glaring problems. CTE,the anthem protests, penalties, over saturation, the commissioner, international expansion, ratings and the unabated NFL GREED!

    No easy fix, but I would kill Thursday Night Football and London. Does anybody remember when MNF was must see tv? I do. Not anymore. Sometimes less is more.

    The NFL needs a total overhaul. And that starts with a strong Commissioner that isn’t merely a puppet for the greedy billionaire owners. The Golden Goose is in big trouble!

  69. I watch less but it’s not political. I watch less because how the game is covered. The only thing that gets attention is controversy. If there is no controversy, then controversy will be made up and covered. Lazy media. Too many “TV personalities” and not enough “reporters”

    I’m a sports fan and not a yuppy hipster.

  70. Quit controlling the outcomes of games. Exciting finishes are nice…but when they happen every other game, it gets obvious & the audience becomes desensitized to these “amazing” comebacks. It devalues actual comebacks. Now, its expected every game. When it does happen, it’s not as exciting, when it doesn’t happen, it’s boring. Lose-lose.

    They have obviously messed with the outcomes of so many games that they’ve ripped the soul right out of the game.

    Stop messing with things to “make the game more exciting” for the occasional & fairweather fans. When you do that, you lose the diehards you used to be able to count on.

  71. Honestly, I’ve barely watched the NFL all year. Part of it is being a Patriots fan, fat and happy, and after that last Super Bowl, what will possibly top it? Even when the Pats looked like a juggernaut on paper in the offseason, I couldn’t get up for this year like I used to.

    But the overall product is just so bad now. I love football, but I hate sloppy football. It’s why I don’t watch NCAA ball much. And since the last CBA, when the players bargained for less practice, the game has really suffered.

  72. mikeoxwells says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:25 am
    Here come all the posts from people on a website called profootballtalk.com claiming that they aren’t paying attention to the NFL anymore.

    —————
    I dont see anyone saying they will pay no attentionat all to the game (IE never giving it another thought in any way) I just see guys saying they will pay less. Even guys that do claim to have stopped all watching still say they care about the game and want it to change, hence thier interest in commenting.

  73. Yeah, the touchy penalties, the laughable announcers, over commercialization, and decline of quality on the field have all made differences. When bad calls are literally the deciding factor in some of these games, its hard to take them seriously

    It doesnt help that 2 of the NFLs larger fanbases, SF and the Giants, are at the bottom of the league.

  74. The NFL and the media can’t understand the decline. Well, there is the place to start. Step back into reality. After that, the problems can be solved. Continuing the status quo and refusing to identify the problem will not work. No problem has ever been solved by refusing to address the problem. “Roofs leaking, I better go mow the grass!”

  75. If the anthem protests are stopping you from watching football you were never a fan anyway. And if that’s the reason why are all you false patriots reading ProFootballTalk?

  76. What kind of headline is that…”Ratings decline COULD soon become more pronounced”.?? Then again it COULD not. Or I COULD win the lottery this weekend. More “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” journalism. Pathetic.

    And no, I don’t expect this to be posted.

  77. Well, all the anthem freakniks were huge Mark Cuban supporters when he originally commented on this. Then Cuban dared to go against their hero, Trump. All of a sudden they now hate Cuban.

  78. One fix would be to mainstream Sunday ticket and not have it be a premium subscription. Give the people ALL the games… they’d watch and ratings would skyrocket.

  79. thetooloftools says:
    November 9, 2017 at 8:19 am
    I personally do not watch nearly as much football as I used to as it has become all about the money. My Oakland Raiders are now the Las Vegas Raiders in waiting and players getting away with disrespecting our National Anthem while telling me they are not and “I don’t get it” is garbage.You are at your JOB … act like it or lose it. The owners are just getting walked over by political activism and I’m not supporting it.

    ——————–

    They are doing their job. They are complying with the CBA and you are free to turn on the game after the anthem is played or to rake the yard. You do not see anything you would view as offensive during the actual game except bad QB play.

    It’s a shame so many people are upset about something as irrelevent as people kneeling while they aren’t upset with the bigger issues. Both in the NFL and in the real world.

    This brings to mind McCarthyism or how it is now known, Trumpsim.

    The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

  80. There’s no problem. Read the comments above from so called fans and you’ll find the problem. The NFL has a bunch of dumb fans that are bigoted and in some cases racist. Hopefully with viewership declining the league can get a better educated fan base. Smaller maybe but sustainable and more enjoyable for the new fan base. Joe six pack can go fishing on Sundays.

  81. “Even guys that do claim to have stopped all watching still say they care about the game and want to change it, hence their interest in commenting”.

    They are wasting their time if they are delusional enough to think a message board comment is going to “change the game”. They are also deluded in thinking that some goofy boycott this weekend will mean something.

  82. The ratings decline started at about the same time the NFL decided that it would rather be a social services organization instead of a sports league.

  83. My kids don’t play football because my bum knees from playing taught me at least this lesson.

    I think football, like basketball, loses its older audience because the game simply does not resemble what we played and remember as kids. I get that a game and athletes evolve, but the quality of play is just sloppy. Holding happens literally every play and when the announcers say something to the effect of, “let ’em play” when the guy clearly has a hold of the other guy’s jersey, well, I’m sorry, but that’s like three steps to the basket for me.

    I’ll keep watching because I like the plays that remind me of my youth, but I won’t be a diehard fan who spends hundreds of dollars at the stadium.

  84. As others have mentioned, there seems to be an over abundance of games. They added Thursday games and some weeks we have a morning Sunday game from London. That makes six time slots on those weeks to show games. At most, there are 16 games per week, and fewer in weeks with byes. That leads to two things: (1) more games than some people want to watch, (2) more bad teams on TV, which most people don’t want to watch. People want to watch their favorite team and then maybe matchups of good teams.

    If you looked at the total viewers for a week now as opposed to previous years, are total weekly viewers down? Or, are the ratings just down per game, because they have now diluted the product?

  85. You’ve got major market teams that are bad (NYG, Bears, Chargers, 49ers), you’ve got top-tier QBs on the shelf (Rodgers, Luck), you’ve got a lingering controversy with player protests, you’ve got oversaturation with night games… and most of all, just plain bad games on the field. Certainly appears that only the Eagles and Rams can play consistently good football – even the Patriots have had cold spots this year.

    Put all that together and you have an increasing number of people finding other things to do when a game is on.

  86. gtodriver says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:35 am
    eagleswin says:

    Cable TV viewership is down 8%. NFL viewership is down 5%. The math says that you can’t make new viewers magically appear. The NFL is doing better than cable TV in general.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    You don’t need cable (or satellite) to watch most NFL games. Many people can, and do, watch broadcast games on an antenna.

    So much for your cable tv comparison.

    ———————

    Are you sure you know what point you are arguing?

    Free over the air “antenna” viewers are not tracked. There is no way to know if their viewership is up or down.

    If you used to have cable but decided to drop it and use the antenna then you are part of my statistic on people who don’t pay for cable any more.

  87. Excuses, excuses. Of course it’s the kneeling. College football ratings are up. If it was all these other reasons (cord cutting, the Presidential election, hurricanes, etc.), college football ratings would be down too. See what’s in front of your face.

  88. Here’s what I’d do to address the ratings decline:

    1. Start a dialogue between players, owners, and the police to address the reason for kneeling during the anthem. Rather than say, you must stand for the flag, they should ask what players want to see happen to get them to stand during the anthem. Granted, an end to racial injustice is not something that is going to be solved in a few weeks, months, or years. But, if there are steps taken to increase awareness, and to listen to different perspectives, maybe players will start to feel less inclined to kneel.

    2. Have fewer Thursday night games. And, Thursday night games would be as meaningful as I could make them — division rivals facing off, preferably the top 2 finishers in each division they year before. Sure, there are no guarantees but by doing it that way, you’d have a better shot of having meaningful games. TNF games would start after week 8, at least.

    3. Create more options for watching. I would either set up an NFL streaming service, or leverage a streaming provider like Amazon. But, I would make it so you can buy a season pass for your favorite team for $X, a season pass for all games for $XX, or a complete package with NFLN, RedZone, all games for $XXX. Same thing for DirecTV… you can purchase by the team, or all teams. Maybe even make it something where you can buy multiple seasons at a discount.

    4. I’m not sure I would fire Goodell. But, I would move to more incentive-based pay for him, and I would also ensure that disciplinary decisions, if appealed, would go to an outside appeal board made up of completely independent arbiters.

    5. Analyze every camera position in a typical game setup to ensure that we’re presenting the best angles for fans. But, also to ensure that there are adequate angles for replays to ensure calls are correct.

    6. Tweak the schedules a little. So, the first week of the season, the top 2 teams in the division from the previous year play. Then, the next few games, teams play opponents who are not in their conference (i.e. AFC vs. NFS). Then the later stages of the season, teams play division rivals — that way the games are more meaningful because middle of the pack teams can still be in it if they can stack a couple of wins together against their division rivals.

    7. Standardize penalties. For example, throwing punches would result in an automatic ejection and one game suspension. (Or just ejection… either way it would be consistent so that one player doesn’t get suspended a week while another player who has a similar offense doesn’t.)

    I don’t know that these would fix the problem, but I think they would help.

  89. Dump Thursday Night Football. Those games are simply never good. Maybe if you’re a bad team, it gives you an opportunity to beat a better team, but otherwise they have no value to anybody except the greedy owners.

    Seriously, you could count the good TNF games from the last 3 years on one hand.

    Someone else mentioned – but give me the choice what game to watch. In Buffalo, we get the Jets at 4 oclock all the time. We don’t like the Jets and the Jets are bad and boring at the moment. I’d rather see the Chiefs play someone at 4 oclock – you get one more viewer if you give me that choice.

  90. The ratings decline started at about the same time the NFL decided that it would rather be a social services organization instead of a sports league.

    —–

    What does this even mean?

  91. Thank you captain obvious. If the pack lose their next two they join several teams already there. How exting will fans be to tune in there games rest of the year. Now add the 18 or more medicre teams who could fall to thebottom with them, and we fans can go get new hobbies. The teams and competition sck this year. Cards, giants, tampa, the list is long.

  92. I have not warched a single game from London since the inception. I don’t watch Thursday nightfootball because the teams are playing with less preparation and rest with an unnecessary challange and lesser quality of play as a result. It is not the sport I grew up admiring.

    The politicalization of management and the sport will cause it to become a less viable option to view moving forward.

  93. dezno24 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 6:36 am
    Let’s see what the Super Bowl ratings come in at. Until the i could care less.
    _____________________________

    What you do and don’t care about couldn’t possibly be more meaningless.

    The business people in the NFL know good and well this is going to throw a major wrench into their next TV deal, and they’ll have to try to put out a ton of fires with networks and sponsors in the meantime. It will become extremely difficult to pacify the deep pockets if ratings continue to fall.

    I can’t wait to see the first time the salary cap actually shrinks instead of growing. I will dance a jig.

  94. The way I spend money on the NFL has taken a major dump this season. No merchandise purchases whatsoever. No Sunday Ticket. No watching games that I don’t particularly care about just so I can watch football.

    Lots of college ball. UGA is #1 this year and it’s awesome to watch.

    NFL? Meh. If I get around to it, fine.

  95. number of comments on a football blog about how they don’t watch football anymore

    Your ilk seems to think this is representative of the whole world or something. This is a nice little niche site where I spend five or ten minutes of my day.

    Out in the world, the outrage at the NFL is real.

  96. I don’t think that there’s sufficient data to draw many conclusions. What do ratings in the different geographic markets look like? Rodgers and Luck are out, the NY teams are terrible, Houston has had two big injuries, Cardinals are running on fumes, the fan bases of the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders are all in flux, etc. As mentioned above, cable viewership is also down overall. I feel like all of those factors are contributing far more than any political issues, and that even if the NFL did absolutely nothing, ratings would probably improve next year. But again, that is just a hunch.

  97. I’ve limited watching for two reasons:

    1) I live in a different state than where my favorite team is located. If I could tune in to my favorite team whenever I wanted I’d watch every week. Additionally, I can’t afford DirecTV and I don’t prefer to pay to watch replays of a game when I already know the result.

    2) I strictly tune in to watch football. I respect political stances and debates, but I don’t prefer to hear them during football games. Football is my time to unwind and clear my head of real world drama, and when real world drama becomes a part of my relaxation time, then I find another way to relax and no longer tune in to football. I prefer to watch football similar to watching a movie. There is rarely a pause during movies to ponder political views, or an intro about political stances – the movie always stays on point to what the movie is about. In my opinion, high school games are more fun to watch than the NFL, because it’s all about football and the love of the game.

  98. The problem is you don’t know in advance which teams/match-ups will be good. Back in April, SEA@AZ seemed like a competition for the two likely leaders of the division. Nobody knew the Cards would screw the pooch (well, other than people with common sense). In hindsight, a Rams/Seahawks game would have been a better draw, but that’s hindsight.

    I’ll watch because it’s my team, but how many people do you think are sitting around saying “I can’t wait to see Drew Stanton, tonight!”?

  99. Play the anthem for the fans with the teams in their locker rooms.

    No “social justice” demonstrations allowed anywhere on the field. Ejections and heavy fines for those who break this rule. Break it twice – one game suspension (increasing with serial violations).

    Don’t televise any fighting/pushing/jawing after a play. Show any penalties that are called and move on.

    Allow me to watch the game of my choice rather than just local or nationally televised games.

    Cut down on commercials that ruin the flow of the game (after a turnover, after a change of possession, after every possible break in the game where you can wedge one in).

  100. joetoronto says:
    November 9, 2017 at 9:41 am
    The ratings decline started at about the same time the NFL decided that it would rather be a social services organization instead of a sports league.

    —–

    What does this even mean?

    0 0 Rate This

    —————-

    I think what he is trying to say is that somehow Kaepernick kneeling is the sole reason for the ratings drop, which is obviously not true. It may be part of the reason, but not all.

    Other than that, I am not sure. Goodell’s stewardship of the NFL has been an outright disaster for its long term future.

    That’s what I know.

    And, I don’t care what Les Moonves says or what any other stooge of the NFL’s current dollars says either.

    The facts are the facts. The ratings started plummeting last year after Goodell got caught lying in a federal court about Tom Brady. And now, with his suspension drama framing Elliott, ratings continue to drop.

    Fans can see right through his actions, where before many fans outside of New England and maybe Louisiana, had no idea what he was doing trying to control every last aspect of how the league is run.

  101. If the NFL would dump the directv monopoly they would see ratings go up. Hell, even some bars are dumping it because it’s too expensive. Directv should go away completely . Let me watch my team every week for a nominal fee and ratings would go up. Too many commercials and too many flags and reviews. Especially when Riveron is involved. Speed games up .

  102. I turned 50 this year, and what I’ve noticed is that I don’t indulge in the ancillary NFL things at all. Pregame shows, postgame shows, middle of the week shows. I don’t watch any of it anymore, and I used to pop out of bed and watch NFL stuff all day on Sunday.

    Too much screaming and politics and crap. Give me some Xs and Os, without all the pre-discussed narratives.

    I still watch every Eagles game, and when they aren’t on I’ll have RedZone on in the background while I do my thing around the house. Might check in on the night games, but overall I consume a fraction of the NFL that I used to consume.

  103. The problem with flexing games is that it flies in the face of the fans who have bought tickets, thinking that the game would be played in the afternoon. Moving the game to prime time at the last minute can screw up their plans. Obviously, the TV execs don’t give a hoot about that. They have the attitude of “You can’t please all the people all of the time….but as long as it pleases TV ratings, it’s okay”.

  104. rfahey22 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 9:57 am
    I don’t think that there’s sufficient data to draw many conclusions. What do ratings in the different geographic markets look like? Rodgers and Luck are out, the NY teams are terrible, Houston has had two big injuries, Cardinals are running on fumes, the fan bases of the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders are all in flux, etc. As mentioned above, cable viewership is also down overall. I feel like all of those factors are contributing far more than any political issues, and that even if the NFL did absolutely nothing, ratings would probably improve next year. But again, that is just a hunch.

    0 0 Rate This

    —————–

    Started in 2014 with the Ray Rice lying and subsequent framing of Brady with Framegate 2. Sprinkle in some kneeling and now another fake “scandal” with defamation of Ezekiel Elliott, and there is just too much lying, cheating and defamation coming out of the NFL office at 345 Park Ave.

    It’s literally impossible to enjoy an NFL season in peace because of Goodell’s antics tied to politically correct, phony management and this delusion that he can control and manipulate every last detail due to the bastardization of Article 46.

    Once he admitted in a federal court that Article 46 gives him the right to lie, cheat, steal and defame, it started this ratings drop into full motion.

    It’s beyond incomprehensible as to why any real NFL fan would support these kinds of actions from the commissioner.

  105. This is the least interested I’ve been in football since the early 80’s when I was 8 or 9 years old.

    The Packers are worse than I possibly imagined, and I’m not the least bit interested in watching the Patriots win or compete in another Super Bowl.

    .. but I have to say, I’ve tried NOT to watch, and that ain’t happening.

    Glued to my set? Can’t stand to miss a minute of action? Not any more.

  106. This is a well thought out list. I would add; 8. Find a way to make the viewing time shorter; ie. fewer commercials, less dead time. Why should a 1 hour 15 minute game take 3 and 1/2 hours to watch?

  107. It’s unclear what the NFL can do on the fly to avoid that.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Not true. It is abundantly clear what the NFL should do to fix it. It just doesn’t mesh with your politics and thus has been completely ignored by you. Fans have been saying for months (if not going back to last year) what the main issue is. At least you are making progress by at least finally admitting that there is a decline even though you still refuse to admit why.

  108. As if all the other negative stuff going on isn’t enough of an incentive to dump the NFL, we have to deal with crap like the Sunday Ticket package being blacked out on your mobile device if you’re found to be at an NFL stadium. That started last year for no logical reason. I used to be able to show up early for our 1pm PT start games and watch the early games and Red Zone on my phone. No more. Some idiot at the NFL decided that if I were at another game, I can’t watch the rest of the league action going on, even though I paid nearly $400 for the privilege of watching *every* game. While my ability to earn creeps up at low single digits annually, NFL salaries and ownership profits go up at astronomical rates, on the backs of fans like ME who pay to watch the product, buy the swag, etc., but it’s never enough – they always want another pound of flesh out of us. Now, they pile on the mishandling of the Kaepernick “protest”, employ completely incompetent officials, and make dubious player discipline decisions on a weekly basis, and it’s getting VERY hard to continue to be a fan of this debacle. So sad for us long-term fans to see the league decline in a tailspin like this.

  109. This brings to mind McCarthyism or how it is now known, Trumpsim.
    =====

    As a Packer fan, I can tell you, McCarthyism is not anything you want to be a part of………………………………

  110. I didn’t realize how much more fun it was to watch the NFL when I had a team I really cared about. I’m in San Diego and with the Chargers gone, my passion is waning. I don’t care that much about fantasy football. It always mattered but I guess it was secondary. I care less about other games because they aren’t in some way affecting my team. Maybe others in San Diego feel this way too

  111. If you think ratings are down now, wait until the next labor dispute when it’s time to negotiate a new CBA. Fans are so tired of talk of strike and lockout (a hangover from 2011) that many will just throw their hands up and walk away from the NFL if there is any work stoppage.

  112. The protests are killing ratings. Take Jerry Jones protesting Roger Goddell getting a contract extension. The fans seems to hate protests and politics, and that is exactly what Jerry Jones is doing with the NFL. Roger Goodell needs to put Jerry Jones in his place. Like Bob McNair said, Roger Goodell can’t have the inmates (owners) running the asylum.

    Fix the rating problem by getting rid of ALL politics, including the staged patriotism the military pays the NFL millions of dollars to “act” patriotic. Secondly, tell owners to do their job and stop protesting Roger Goodells contract extension. Problem fixed!

  113. I bet that there are probably 10 to 20 players per team put on Injured reserve (“IR”) each year. Some of those players that have been hurt may not have made the team if they were healthy but even 10 players on IR equals close to 20% of the roster. Look at Houston, they lost JJ Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Deshaun Watson. What is the playoff outlook now? Andrew Luck didn’t play this year. I bet there are still some seats available for the next Colts home game.

    There is only so much you can do to prevent injuries and I am not referring to concussions which is clearly worse long-term but not short term. I do think that need to change the rules on IR and let more players that can come back not be out for the year.

  114. It’s real simple….. show some respect!

    I know a number of people who are NOT watching this year, & claim 100% of their reason is the anthem protests. I know several people who routinely got to games who are NOT going to any games this year 100% because of the anthem protests.

    To think it’s something else, or attempting to minimalize the anthem protests as the reason, is just not honest.

  115. Let me pass on what I have noticed. I live in “flyover” country, you know, where all the uneducated, redneck, racist, misogynistic, deplorables live. In a town of 4200 people.

    First, Sunday mornings the coffeshops are full, and virtually no one there watches football on Sundays any more due to the kneeling going on: and, have not all year. Most of them are pissed about it.

    Second, I was in Pizza Hut when Dallas played Green Bay couple weeks ago. A gentleman and seven other people sat at a big table. He asked the server to turn off the tvs because they were on the NFL. He stated that it was an insult to him and his group to watch it. The three tables nearest his clapped their hands in agreement, mine included. The server shut the tvs off, and no one complained.

    Granted, these small communities don’t amount to many viewers, as opposed to the “elite” cities like NYC, Chicago, Detroit, SF, LA, etc, but, their numbers add up. It would be interesting to see the NFL viewership numbers in the “red” areas of the country this year as opposed to other years. I would wager that there is where the drop in viewer ship occurs.

  116. Just a thought that might help… don’t steal teams from cities when they’ve been there for 50+ years. Spend your own profits on building stadiums instead of squeezing fans and the cities they live in for tax dollars designated for roads, teachers, cops, fire-fighters, etc. You can afford it… so pay your own way!

    The NFL is an obvious ponzi scheme. They take our money with no promise of competency or long-term commitment apparently. The NFL has shown its true colors and that is not what America is about! (San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis)

    NO FREAKING LOYALTY(NFL)

  117. Mark Cuban called this, yet refuses to acknowledge that Trump brought it to the forefront. The NFL is an addiction without the high, the quality of play has deteriorated, and the arrogance of Goodell and the players is getting people off the addiction. I don’t want to hear about cutting the cord because the only game you can’t get over the air is the Monday night game and a few Thursday games outside of the local market.

  118. Make Mike Brown sell the Bengals and I (as well as many other Bengal fans) increase my viewership immediately.

  119. It’s not the anthem protests or even the constant flag-throwing (which is getting a little out of hand lately!), it’s the anti-competitive packages. I am in my early twenties and except for one friend and myself, no one I know even watches the NFL on television. They all, without exception, watch it on the Internet. It’s hard to blame them, I mean the amount of commercials has become ridiculous – and – do we need 25 minutes of flag/military worship every-single-game? God damn it why is the military so tied in with the NFL now?

    I like the NBA .. they sing the song and play-ball. I do not want to watch 15-25 minutes about the army, our flag… some history lesson blahhhhhhhhhh!

  120. Most have already mentioned my issues, but I’m still watching. But for the love of all things football, GET JOE BUCK OFF OF MY TV SCREEN! He’s a baseball announcer. The list of communication majors graduating college every year keeps growing, and I have to see Joe Buck doing every sport every week. Give some kid a chance!

  121. 5 easy fixes

    1. Allow League to flex by one window anytime they want on Sundays after week 4. I.E. 1:00pm to 4:00, 4:00 to 1:00….4:00 to 8:00. Give 2 weeks notice. What ever they need to do to get bad games off prime time TV. Flex Monday nights in final 6 weeks to improve those matchups too.

    2. Reduce Thursday night to about 4 times a year. Make it special.

    3. Let coaches challenge anything including Pass Interference and penalties, But limit to the same amount as today.

    4. Find a way to reduce flags, just use more common sense. Allow a little holding inside the tackles. Allow some hand fighting in the secondary and let receiver extend arms to create a little space. Same with catch rule. It’s not hard.

    5. Allow teams more practice time. Most O lines are terrible because they don’t get to practice game conditions much. It’s getting QB’s killed.

  122. don’t steal teams from cities when they’ve been there for 50+ years. Spend your own profits on building stadiums

    Yah, that aint happenin’…especially when the next town over is going to make a deal. Go complain to them. Better yet, start your own business and see how willing you are to spend money you don’t need to.

  123. LOL the boycotters think they’re responsible for this. Look NFL ratings and attendance have been falling for years. It’s because the product is crap, not because of your stupid little jihad. Get over yourselves.

  124. This comment is from a decades long fan:

    Quality of play is much lower than it used to be.
    Stop calling holding and false starts every other play.
    The games are long and boring.

    All unthinkable comments by me, even 5 years ago. But the world has changed around the NFL. The NFL just doesn’t get it. I watch/listen to 1/4 of the games I used to. Heck, I’ve paid more attention to baseball this year than football.

  125. Way to many flags and I demand that players goose step out of the tunnel with hand over their heart and tears in their eyes during the national anthem.

  126. Thursday Night Football sucks. The players aren’t ready to play in 4 days. The game plans are simple because there’s no time to prepare. If the teams who play on Thursday were teams who had a bye the previous week, that would make a big difference.

    The play is sloppy. Tackling techniques are non existent. There are a lot of receivers who have alligator arms trying to catch a pass and even more who just head for the sideline after catching the ball. Offenses were a mess the first few weeks. There is so little time now spent practicing in full pads that the players aren’t prepared come game time. I’m not sure on the official number….but it’s like 15 full pad practices during the season? I think it’s something like 11 during the first 11 weeks, then 4 for the remainder of the season. If players aren’t used to getting hit…it’s going to have an impact on their play during games.

  127. helicopterpilot13 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 8:13 am
    I’m sixty years old and run a company with 130 million in annual sales and the problem is unstoppable. The fans have had their fill of millionaire animals who can barely utter a two syllable word and who many have violent criminal records trying to wrest control of the sport.
    The flag thing just happened to be the last straw. You’ve got former players on TV with lengthy criminal rap sheets preening and acting as if they are important and most importantly you have IDIOT TV execs who actually put these animals on TV.
    It’s Planet of the Apes reality show. Seriously.
    That’s a mean thing to say about Gruden.

  128. I used to watch 3 games a week as a kid. Got married to a non-fan, found there were other things to do on Sunday, so only watched a few games a year. Got a smart phone, found I could follow the scores without sitting through the commercials. Had a kid, stopped watching on Sunday all together. Cut my cable, there went ESPN on Monday & 3-day draft takes took too much time. Except when my team is televised, with is once a year if I’m lucky, I haven’t watched regular season games for about 4-5 years. I follow on the internet for highlights.
    I’d watch my team every week, but I don’t want to give the NFL even one more penny (The NFL feeds on money like tics on blood). Free streaming, even with commercials, would raise their ratings.
    I don’t think my story is unusual. Older fan base is dying off, young kids aren’t tuning in like they did in past decades. The rest of us are finding other ways to follow the game.
    The constant player vs owners is getting tiresome. Get rid of Goodell and put someone who actually loves the game in charge.

  129. IMO, the NFL needs to hire an independent firm to study this (without any NFL employees as co-leaders or wordsmithers of the study). There are so many areas that need analysis that are part of the overall picture (including a detailed fan survey). And they are incapable of having an objective view on their own.

    My own viewing habits: when there were only 2 Sunday afternoon times slots and Monday night football, NFL was must-see TV to me. Then they added Sunday night football, which was good. Then came a few Thursday night games sprinkled in. Then every Thursday. Then Sunday morning. It’s too much, it’s no longer must-see.

    I’m a Patriots fan, and I hate it when they play at 1 pm, especially in Sept, Oct, and Nov. I much prefer the 4:30 time slot. Here in NH we can have some fantastic weather during these three months, and if it is nice out I’ll be outside rather than watch the game, and will moften listen to it on the radio. I may DVR the game if I can’t listen to it.

    After Pats games, I’d be interested in watching games where teams that are direct competition of the Patriots are involved. So that would be AFC East division foes, teams on the Pats’ schedule, or other AFC contenders, currently Pitt and KC would be the two leaders (Hou was before Watson got hurt). Jax and Ten are starting to look interesting to me, but haven’t been for a long time.

    Next would be games from either of the conferences where it is a matchup of solid teams.

    As I go further down the list, it gets less and less interesting to me.

    There have been many times in recent years when I have turned on what to me is not an interesting matchup, and 3 hours later realize that I have spent the entire time looking at other things on my phone or tablet and had no idea how the scoring came about. It has to be pretty bad when you realize you are reading news rather than watching the game, because for the most part the news isn’t any better.

    With all the other options available to potential viewers, the NFL has to be at peak in order to retain those viewers game after game, and the overall product isn’t living up to that. And that is what the NFL needs to find out….what IS the optimum product in the eyes of its viewers?

    They are fooling themselves if they think they know what it is, because they haven’t asked us.

  130. patriots123456 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 7:45 am
    Just read the results of the fans that were interviewed, over 50% said the kneeling has impacted their watching, attending games etc. Don’t guess, just read the statistics.

    Many of the stadiums are half empty.

    People don’t like Ghetto Football…
    ——————
    I️ truly despise stupid people! Name the half empty stadiums…..I’ll wait….and wait……and wait.

  131. steelerfanjo says:
    November 9, 2017 at 8:54 am
    The NE Patriots and Baltimore Ravens have ruined the NFL. It is 1100% fact.

    ——————
    Beating you like a rug is their job. You cant penalize teams for simply doing as they are supposed to.

  132. They televise 7 games a week. It would take an entire day to watch them all. Nobody has that much time to devote to TV. A diluted market and a poor product make high ratings difficult to achieve.

  133. 1) Get rid of the Papa John’s pizza commercials

    2) Don’t mix politics with sports

    3) Show some meaningful games on national TV

    4) Everyone but NE fans are tired of seeing them win all the time

  134. Everyday I check the news to see if the NFL and it’s employees have apologized to the citizens of the United States, especially the men and women of our brave armed forces.

  135. 3 reasons,
    1..We are cutting the Cable and Dish, MNF on ESPN…don’t have it won’t watch
    Same with NFL network…
    2…. People are Kneeling back at the NFL. WE DON’T APPRECIATE IT..
    When ratings drop far enough, SOMEBODY is going to get their pay cut, advertisers will not keep paying to falling ratings
    3.. Losing fan base, We cannot afford to take our kids to NFL games anymore, Haven’t for 15 plus years. They will be growing up playing soccer, watching Baseball and Basketball.

  136. They need to scrap TNF (except for Thanksgiving), MNF, and all games outside of the contiguous United States. They can keep the Thanksgiving games.

    They also need to raise the minimum amount of the salary cap that teams must spend. It’s no coincidence that the 2 worst NFL teams are also the one with the most cap space.

    Fire Goodell, and hire someone that actually has unquestioned integrity.

    Stop it with the social engineering.

    Knock off the fraudulent witch hunts. It’s no coincidence that the ratings took a noticeable drop right around the time that Goodell decided to defraud the American public with the psigate farce.

    Simplify the rule book.

    Get rid of instant replay.

    Hold referees accountable.

    Get rid of the NY referee review nonsense.\

    etc.

  137. In this one article about the NFL ratings decline, we see about 900 comments and growing. Many of them are stating precisely why they stopped watching the games. The NFL could stop their guessing about why the ratings are dropping by simply making a list of all the reasons fans are stating. The fans are telling them why the fans aren’t watching. Ignoring the fans just makes them look silly and further drives that wedge.

    FYI – I have stopped watching because of the protests. I watch games for the football, protest on your own time. And the apathy toward protests didn’t start with the kneeling; it started when players walked out of the tunnels with their hands in the air. Remember the “hands-up; don’t shoot” protests? Politics and entertainment don’t mix like when people get chocolate in my peanut butter … or did I get peanut butter on their chocolate??

  138. Ratings are a direct reflection of Fan support of the NFL product.

    Here’s a thought – Why doesn’t the NFL invest a good amount of money and conduct a large poll with the FANS and see what’s the cause of the decline? That will give the owners a TRUE reflection on why their product is is in ruins.

  139. I’m cutting my cable and all my neighbors too. LOL
    I mean all one has to do is look at that quality of the product this year. The Bucs? Falcons? Giants? Cardinals? Niners? Cleveland? Packers? That alone is 7 potential crappy games no matter who they are playing and if they play each other, those are un watchable. I can drink heavily and watch my lawn grow and be as excited.
    So its not just the kneeling it the god awful football being played this year couple with the kneeling that is doing it.
    I can buy tickets to the Packers game for the Ravens pretty much right up to game and beyond. LOL
    and please could they throw some more flags and do a lot of reviews. The refs dont even make decisions anymore.
    Hey and pleasssssssssssssssssssssssse stop with “upon further review”. There was no previous review. You made a call and then reviewed it once. Why not just say, the call stands or the call is changed and stop explaining why. Were drinking and dont give a hoot.

  140. NFL needs to initiate the TOILET BOWL. Let the two worse teams play at the end of the season for a brown bronzed trophy. Once again this year it will be CLE and SF. I’d watch it and maybe the winner gets the first pick in the draft? GET CREATIVE NFL!

  141. I started tuning out a year or two ago. It wasn’t a deliberative action or any one thing but if I had to boil it down to a couple of things to blame I would list the shameless greed of the league and owners and watching a game dictated by penalty flags. And I’m a life long Packer fan. It’s supposedly in our Wisconsin DNA and with the QB’s and success they have had the last 25 years you would think I would be drinking the green and gold kool aid every week. But I don’t and, to my surprise, I don’t even miss it.

  142. Everyone has their opinions, but Ultimately I can only speak for myself.

    A little background- I am 36, married, homeowner, college grad, good job and solidly middle class. No kids, but that is coming soon. I Grew up in suburban Detroit as a Lions fan, but made my home as an adult in Ann Arbor MI -so a pretty football crazed city. Basically I am the NFL’s bread and butter.

    I watch less football then I used to, for a few reasons and I think that they may be relevant.

    1- Saturation- There is too much football of all types on TV now. The NFL is on all day Sunday, then MNF & TNF. The NCAA is on basically every other day without exaggeration. I watched a few minutes of a MAC college game with my Alma Mater last night on ESPN, I am sure there is a college game on Friday, and then all day Saturday. That literally makes Tuesday the only day without football on this week. Football used to be an event a couple days a week especially with the NFL, it’s not anymore.

    2- Time- sort of a 1-A from above. As an adult I can’t devote the time to watch games all day Sunday, not to mention every other day of the week. I just simply have too much going on to zone out multiple times a week. And when you factor in that I am not a parent and as such I have hours more of disposable time each week than parents have it makes it even more pronounced. Plus prime time games run way too late for the central and eastern time zone. I stayed up for the Lions MNF game this week and was dragging HARD when I got up for work Tuesday.

    3- Product. The quality of football has gotten bad. There are some baaaddddd teams. with the game being so QB driven now and not enough good QB’, it makes for some sloppy ass games. Like who in the hell outside of the fan base is gonna watch trash fests jamborees between 2 garabge teams like Jets v Browns earlier in the year? There are also way too many flags thrown for dumb stuff, and they are called inconsistently from team to team and game.

    4-Favoritism- It sure seems like the league plays favorites with teams and players. I hate to sound like a homer or a sore loser- but look at the overturned TD during the Lions -Falcons game with the runoff to end the game, the picked up PI flag against Dallas in the playoffs and look out the phantom facemask on Aaron Rogers the other season to end the game with a un-timed down hail many. I fully admit that I am being biased here since they happened against my team but It’s tough to invest 3 hours into a game like the Lions Falcons and feel like a win got taken from you. And like someone else said- You come near Tom Brady ( who I am a huge fan of for the record) and it’s a flag – 15 yards and a first down-but you can obliterate Cam Newton ( who I can’t stand BTW) and it’s not a penalty.

    It’s hard to keep seeing that kind of stuff over and over and not think something is up.

    5. Cost / Game experience. It’s way way way too expensive to go to a game now. Season Tickets are a luxury item pipe dream for the vast majority of fans, and I just looked on stub hub and the cheapest ticket to the Lions V Browns game this Sunday is $65. If you want decent seats it’s around a $100.00 a pop. And that’s against the dumpster fire Browns. Factor in min $20 to park your car if you don’t mind hoofing it a few blocks in cold ass weather but upwards of $50 if you park close to the stadium, overpriced food and drink and you are looking prob $170.00 if you and a buddy split parking, get OK seats and have a beer or 2 and some Nacho’s. Got Kids? Double it or triple it. That’s a lot of cash for one afternoon when I can watch the game on my flat screen in my sweet finished basement and not have to deal with lines to the bathroom and drunken idiots spilling beer on me.

    6- Loss of Future fans. Not really “me” persay but this is a factor especially going forward. Like I said above- the cost of a game has totally priced out the average family. My wife and I do better financially adjusted for scale than my parents did growing up and my dad was able to get me to a few games a year without breaking the bank. Spending hundreds on an afternoon it’s just not an option for many american families, and it’s harder to develop a bond with a team you only get to see on TV. And, it’s not like the Tv packages are cheap now either. More and more people have Netflix subscriptions over $150 a month cable packages these days. Just look at what happened to baseball in America. Playing baseball has become a rich kids sport in the USA, and it’s totally killed participation and fandom in many communities. Much has been said about the lack of African American players in the MLB and the fact that the fanbase has become dominated by old white dudes. MLB is still popular, but not like it once was.

    The CTE issue is a factor to some extent. My sister in law has said she will not let her kids play football,and she has tried to keep them from watching it it order to make them not want to play it.( for the record, I would still let my kids play if I had any) She isn’t the only one like this. I am not saying that youth and HS football are going away any time soon- but less kids are playing than ever before and I think that in 8-10 years from now you are going to see a non playing boom when today’s kids get to middle and high school level. Kids not paying leads to a less passionate and smaller fanbase as they grow.

    7. I think the anthem thing is factor, but pretty small.I don’t any diehard fan actually stopped watching, maybe some casual ones which obviously does affect ratings. FOr the record, I think they should stand, but it’snot gonna keep me from watching.

    I think that it is slice of the bigger pie of people getting sick of pro athletes antics in general.

    Overall, I think football has hit it’s peak and is just leveling out. People will still watch and the NFL will always be here but like anything else it’s going to have ebb and flow.

  143. The same people who say take politics out of football were okay with Belichick and Brady’s very public and ostentatious lovefest with Donald. Hypocrites.

  144. slvrnblk4lf says:
    November 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Here’s a thought – Why doesn’t the NFL invest a good amount of money and conduct a large poll with the FANS and see what’s the cause of the decline? That will give the owners a TRUE reflection on why their product is is in ruins.
    ———————-

    Why would they, when they have the chief architect of the decline, Roger Goodell, saying that the ratings aren’t declining?

  145. I hope the people at the NFL are looking this over… I mean it’s pretty clear a big problem for the majority is… (drum roll).

    TOO MANY FLAGS. TOO MANY FLAGS!!!

    I was just watching a game where even the announcers themselves were being sarcastic about how many flags were being thrown. It was, NO LIE, about every second play. I think it was the Kansas/Dallas game.

  146. BY the way… for all of this anthem talk…. you guys are aware are anthem is a joke, right? I’m serious. The United States Anthem, this holy song … is actually ‘The Anacreon’ a British drinking song.

    Yeah, our anthem… was created by professional trolls.

  147. Should have kept the spotlight on the game and teams. Not individual players and TMZ stories. Hope they go broke.

  148. You’ve made a conclusion that wasn’t warranted. You noticed that two things occurred last year at about mid-season, that the viewership increased, and that the election happened ending political broadcasting (for a while). And with no evidence to support it, you assumed that the one thing was because of the other. That is a basic logical fallacy known as “post hoc ergo propter hoc” (in latin: after this, because of this) Just because two things happen coincidentally does not show causation.

    It could be that the season doesn’t get real interesting until mid-season. Or when the weather changes and gets colder up north people are less apt to be outside doing other things on Sunday afternoons. Or maybe getting off of daylight saving time makes the difference. There are just far too many variables out there to say that the increase in viewing was as a direct result of the political election and therefore will not happen again this year.

  149. After 40 yrs of watching and supporting the NFL I stopped. I no longer know what a catch is or touchdown for that matter. Greedy owners, greedy NFL front office and the straw that broke the camels back was moving my team to a different city. FU NFL !!!

    What’s the league response to this decline ??? A team in Mexico City, London, and Toyko yeah that’s the ticket ….eye roll.

    This whole taking a knee thing is just a temporary glitch and won’t last.

  150. Aaron Rodgers
    Deshaun Watson
    JJ Watt
    Odell Beckham
    Dalvin Cook
    Andrew Luck
    Long commercials
    Political Theater

  151. bannedfromchoirpractice says:
    November 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm
    The same people who say take politics out of football were okay with Belichick and Brady’s very public and ostentatious lovefest with Donald. Hypocrites.

    —————
    Where during the pregame activities were they doing something to make some sort of gesture of support for him or protest on his behalf or really anything? I must have missed that. Or do they ever, outside of direct questions start promoting Trump in their press conferences? Because I must have missed that too. I would bet that even if asked a direct question about his political feelings (or the color of his car or what foods he likes or….) Belichick would right now just say “We are focused on Denver” and that would be the entire and only response. There is a difference between someone holding a political opinion that you are angry with them for and hijacking sporting events to force their political views on those that feel like they only tuned in to watch a game.

  152. The last two week I did not watch one game, and I didn’t miss it. What keeps me from watching? Games are no longer simple, they are litigious. I’m tired of bad calls and inconsistent calls and how calls too often dictate the outcome of games. I’m tired of bad play (can’t anybody tackle in this game?). There are no REAL good teams, as in the days of the Cowboys and 9ers in the 80s and 90’s. Too many fines for what used to be called tackles. Headlines are not about the game anymore but about everything but the game, from fines to suspensions to politics. Goodell is out of touch. It’s hard for me to support a league run by such narrow minded and dictator like person. Then there is the stream of injuries (due to a lack of practice in pads?)… Oh, did I mention over saturation. I’m migrating to the NBA. I NEVER thought I would say that. If I was an owner, I would sell NOW while I can still get my billion. Sigh.

  153. mdd913 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 11:36 am
    LOL the boycotters think they’re responsible for this. Look NFL ratings and attendance have been falling for years. It’s because the product is crap, not because of your stupid little jihad. Get over yourselves.

    5 14 Rate This

    ————-

    I agree, but the key concept is “baggage”. Look at how annoying it is to watch a game or get through a season.

    Whether it’s Goodell’s cheating with fake “scandals” or a guy kneeling down thinking he will change the world during an anthem, etc, it all adds up.

  154. mmack66 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm
    They need to scrap TNF (except for Thanksgiving), MNF, and all games outside of the contiguous United States. They can keep the Thanksgiving games.

    They also need to raise the minimum amount of the salary cap that teams must spend. It’s no coincidence that the 2 worst NFL teams are also the one with the most cap space.

    Fire Goodell, and hire someone that actually has unquestioned integrity.

    Stop it with the social engineering.

    Knock off the fraudulent witch hunts. It’s no coincidence that the ratings took a noticeable drop right around the time that Goodell decided to defraud the American public with the psigate farce.

    Simplify the rule book.

    Get rid of instant replay.

    Hold referees accountable.

    Get rid of the NY referee review nonsense.\

    etc.

    9 1 Rate This

    —————————-

    Good list. After they fire him can they investigate him for a decade’s worth of consumer fraud and defamation charges?

    I can only imagine what is on that man’s phone and computer. The strategy of trying to cheat the Pats and how to maneuver through it with all that legalese, would take a lot of meetings and a lot of communication.

  155. Over-saturation is bogus: ratings had been climbing substantially each season until the game when Kaepernick kneeled. It’s been going downhill since.

    Solution: suspend any player making on field political demonstrations.

  156. I wonder if they’ve realized America hates NFL players almost as much as they hate the mainstream media right now.

    Nah. It is definitely everything other than your sports’ players’ disrespect for the country that made it possible for them to be millionaire spoiled brats.

  157. objectivefootballfan says:
    November 9, 2017 at 6:38 am
    Everyone keeps talking about ratings decline for the NFL but lets not be fooled here, the NFL will always top all the other professional sports (NBA,NHL,MLB) because football comes on once a week while those other sports have games everyday!!
    ——————————————————————————————

    Not true. Problem is that football has become more than a once a week sport. They play Sunday’s, Sunday Night, Monday night, Thursday night and Saturday’s at the end of the season. Too damn much football. Being as physical a game as it is, the level of competition declines making the games more boring. Not to mention the number of players that get injured on short weeks and can’t play. Late games lose interest for me because I live in the Eastern Time Zone, work early and can never stay up to see the end of the games. So unless it’s my team, I don’t bother to watch at all. And you know what? It’s not a big deal.

  158. Oh gosh. I missed last nights game. I would have liked to watch it but I was busy with some stuff while my wife had something else on. This is the sort of accident that would not have happened in the past but now that the excitment has waned now it does. I still like football but they have killed that thing that made it something we were careful not to miss.

  159. I’m an American first, sports fan later. I have the Redzone package that I have not watched in 3 weeks, I will not have it next year. I’m in my 50’s and boycott the protesting. I do not like the product when it produces anti-American sentiment. I have been in pools galore since the ’80’s. I check in on what I need to. They no longer have my heart, eyes, or wallet.

  160. Every NFL game I watch turns into a court drama, as referees pore over evidence to see if the catch was a catch.

    That’s an awesome script for CSI but not an awesome script for full-contact sports. I don’t want to pause to think about whether or not it was a catch; if it looks at all like a catch, it was a catch. If it looks like a fumble, it was a fumble.

    The league has really let “perfect” get in the way of “good enough” with their refereeing, and it’s driving fans away.

  161. People who aren’t watching football because of politics are nothing but a bunch of bandwagoners. They don’t know the difference between a punt and field goal.

  162. cardinealsfan20 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 9:11 am
    “Even guys that do claim to have stopped all watching still say they care about the game and want to change it, hence their interest in commenting”.

    They are wasting their time if they are delusional enough to think a message board comment is going to “change the game”. They are also deluded in thinking that some goofy boycott this weekend will mean something.
    ——
    Why do you care? But thanks for your insightful wisdom and opinion about what’s delusional.

  163. Web Moss says: November 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    People who aren’t watching football because of politics are nothing but a bunch of bandwagoners. They don’t know the difference between a punt and field goal.

    Try again snowflake.. Most of us are multi-decade fans, paying attention long before you were a gleam in your daddy’s eye. Maybe someday you’ll understand there are things more important than football. Or.. maybe you’ll stay in your bubble and continue taking things for granted.

  164. Kill Thursday Night Football IMMEDIATELY. Probably phase out Monday Night Football too, especially since ESPN treats it like a boring leftover. It used to be an event when it was a novelty to excite the otherwise drudgery of a workweek. Now, people have a million entertainment options and work all kinds of various shifts so there is nothing culturally resonant about Monday Night Football. Get football back to a reliable Sunday / Sunday Night pastime and ratings will recover – until the league disbands for lack of healthy players with no brain damage.

  165. I used to enjoy watching football but I don’t anymore. The rules are stupid. Specifically the rules regarding what is a catch are pathetic and unnecessary. Defensive offsides rule is stupid. If they don’t make contact with the offensive player and get back over the line before the snap then it should not be a penalty. The officiating is terrible for many reasons. The players are not practicing as much as they used to so the quality of play has dramatically deteriorated at every position. The game is not fun to watch anymore.

  166. Im not watching out of touch millionaires disrespect the anthem. Im not supporting it. There is a genuine contempt by these players for the target audience that has supported the league. thats the first problem

    Second problem is over saturation. Think of it like your local Starbucks. You pop a few in a certain 10 mile radius and it works. Open up one on every corner, and the company loses money because the people get tired of it. they figured it out and rectified it. Shops closed. People began to appreciate it again. the NFL had no business playing games at crazy hours in London and especially not on Thursdays.

  167. 1. Fire Roger Goodell
    2. Hire Mike Ditka
    3. Change the superbowl halftime to 15 minutes like it is in, you know, football games.
    4. Superbowl halftimes should be marching bands and not depraved hollywood scum who put on shows that are unfit for family viewing.

  168. I said “Veteran’s Day saw a lot of empty stadiums.

    I bet the ratings drop hits double digits.”

    It was a 20% drop from last season. Only the fact that the Patriots were playing saved that number. Yikes.

  169. The biggest problem is one that is very hard to fix – there aren’t enough good head coaches in the league. I can count on one hand the number of teams that are well coached and don’t make constant boneheaded moves. The rest of the league feels like a group of amateurs. Those games just aren’t fun to watch.

    With so few good teams, there are very few marquee matchups.

  170. Some easy solutions – reduce the frequency and length of adverts within a Quarter – make more use of sky cams during the game – kill Thursday Night football – flex Sunday night and Monday night games to more competitive and meaningful match-ups – those steps could help put a better more compelling “NFL product” in front of the average armchair fan.

  171. I don’t know if any of us can put a finger on any one thing that is the cause but judging by the number of posters who feel that over-saturation is the cause, I have to join them there. Sunday afternoon and Monday Night Football use to be event TV decades ago. Then in the 80’s it spread to Sunday night now in the 2000 teens, it’s spread to Thursday night and because the NFL wants to jam its product down the International throat, it’s spread to Sunday Mornings. Make the damn game event television again by getting rid of Thursday night and Sunday mornings and dare I say Monday night and try your damnest to make Sunday Night game your “Game of the Week” featuring what you hope to be the best matchup for that week.

  172. Something that most people are not mentioning… How many people watch football through illegal streaming? Just like the UFC…. half pay half watch free streams.

    Another thing. College football is no longer developing players for the NFL. College ball is trying to morph into a different sport. Almost like comparing the NFL and CFL.

    College QB’s can no longer play in pro systems.

    OL are coming into the NFL with the knowledge of h/s kids. Taking multiple years to develop when before they were almost plug and play.

    S- Idk if this an actual trend or not.. this year had a good crop. but seems like all the great safety’s retired and none have really replaced them. I am not saying there are not good safetys now.. but its seems to be fewer and fewer each class.

  173. Hamish1314 says:
    November 9, 2017 at 6:39 am
    I’ll always watch, players exercising their first amendment rights won’t cause me to stop watching, maybe it will for some of you false Americans but not me
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    YOU are part of the problem right there. #1 Calling those that choose to not watch because of the kneeling “false Americans” is hate speech and divisive. You have the right to watch, they have the right not to watch.

    #2 At your workplace you have to work and not participate in protests. They are protesting on worktime, not personal time.

    As far as the kneeling is concerned, much has been and is still being written about the decline in viewership. Most of it tries to point the finger at other reasons. But let’s be honest. The only thing that has changed is the protesting. Everything else has stayed the same. If the only change is the protests and now viewership is down, then “TA-DA!” you now know why ratings are down. Simple as that.

  174. Streaming is likely a factor. Another likely factor is that teams with big fan bases are having bad years and scandals: Jets, Giants, Chicago, San Francisco, Green Bay, Dallas, etc. The best teams this year are the Rams (no fan base despite big city), Minnesota (small market), KC (small market), New Orleans (small market), etc. Pats and Eagles look good, but thats not enough to save overall ratings. Peyton Manning and Brett Favre were the Michael Jordans of ratings and their retirement has caused a dip. The NFL knee capped Brees and Brady with witch hunts in Bountygate and Deflategate. Rodgers is injured.

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