The nattering nabobs of NFL negativism are having their agenda disrupted, at least for a week.
As to Week 13 of the 2017 regular season, multiple key TV numbers jumped dramatically in comparison to Week 13 of the 2016 regular season. According to SportsBusiness Journal, the ratings for NBC’s Sunday Night Football (Eagles-Seahawks) showed a 14-percent increase over last year’s Week 13 prime-time game, which pitted the Panthers against Seattle. It was the third straight week that Sunday Night Football has seen a year-to-year ratings bump.
The Monday night numbers improved even more significantly, with Steelers-Bengals driving a 30-percent increase over last year’s Colts-Jets game.
For the year, Monday Night Football ratings are down three percent in comparison to 2016, which is hardly great news but a far cry from the doom and gloom that those with an anti-NFL agenda would have casual fans believe.
The worst news for Week 13 was that the late-afternoon doubleheader game (Panthers at Saints) on FOX saw a 17.5-percent drop in comparison to last year’s Giants-Steelers game. Which underscores the extent to which ratings are still driven by triple threat of star players (Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown), big markets (New York), and national brands (the Steelers).
For Week 14, significant games like Saints-Falcons (Thursday night), Eagles-Rams (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday), and Ravens-Steelers (Sunday night) should see solid numbers. The weak link could be Patriots-Dolphins on Monday night, although the involvement of New England should help boost the final rating.