Conference championship ratings down, but not dramatically

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NFL ratings continue to drop in relation to recent years, but the NFL will say that the ratings continue to drop to a smaller extent than TV viewership is dropping across the board.

Via SportsBusiness Journal, the AFC title game drew a 27.3 in the mid-afternoon window, down 0.1 from last year’s Packers-Falcons game on FOX in the same spot. In comparison to the January 2016 Patriots-Broncos game, the Jaguars-Patriots game was down 4.5 ratings points, of 14.6 percent.

The late game on FOX, a blowout win by the Eagles over the Vikings, generated a 24.7 overnight rating, down from  27.6 rating that came from last year’s Steelers-Patriots game on CBS. It was the lowest number in the 6:40 p.m. ET window since the 45-7 win by the Patriots over the Colts in the #DeflateGate game from three years ago. The highest number in the early-evening title-game slot in the past decade came eight years ago, when the Vikings and Saints churned up a 33.3 for their overtime classic.

So the numbers remain strong, and they will be even stronger if/when more star players and national teams (like the Cowboys or Packers or Steelers) are in the conference championship games.

36 responses to “Conference championship ratings down, but not dramatically

  1. Best for the NFL to announce all players will stand respectfully for the anthem next season or be unable to play that game (same rule as the NBA).

    Of course with Commissioner Potato in charge, I expect the worst decision possible instead.

  2. Probably because we had Bortles, Foles, and Keenum as starting QBs. Not a very appealing group of QB’s to watch on conference championship.

  3. It’s because of the Refs! The Refs are to blame for being in the pocket of the Pats! The game is fixed!
    The NFL wants the Pats to win every Super Bowl and always has!
    Now I hope we got that out of the way maybe we can have more intelligent comments than to blame the Refs and question their integrity.

  4. If the NFC and AFC could trade the Bucs and Bears for the Patriots and Steelers we would not see the Pats and steelers so much in the conference Championship… Beneficiaries of weak conference…

    Maybe the Bucs and Bears could get a few more wins a year…

  5. tyelee says:
    January 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    If the NFC and AFC could trade the Bucs and Bears for the Patriots and Steelers we would not see the Pats and steelers so much in the conference Championship… Beneficiaries of weak conference…

    Maybe the Bucs and Bears could get a few more wins a year…
    ———————-

    You might be right about the Steelers, but the Patriots don’t seem to have much trouble beating the NFC.

  6. tyelee says:
    January 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm
    If the NFC and AFC could trade the Bucs and Bears for the Patriots and Steelers we would not see the Pats and steelers so much in the conference Championship… Beneficiaries of weak conference…

    Maybe the Bucs and Bears could get a few more wins a year…
    _______________

    Remind me again the last time the NFC has won the super bowl

  7. bobthebillsfan says:
    January 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm
    The AFC ratings were down because everyone is tired of seeing the Patriots win all the time. People want to see new teams.
    ——————————————–
    Maybe if the other AFC teams weren’t so incompetent another team would win the AFCCG. Take the Bills as an example. It took them 18 years to make the playoffs and when they finally do they score 3 whole points. They haven’t won a playoffs game in 23 years but it’s the Pats fault for the ratings going down? When teams are not good their TV ratings and ticket sales go down so the Pats are doing what’s in their best interests why aren’t the most of the other teams in the conference doing like wise?

  8. And how do they measure the ratings for streaming? Maybe the “downturn” in ratings is just watchers not being counted.

  9. If the NFC and AFC could trade the Bucs and Bears for the Patriots and Steelers we would not see the Pats and steelers so much in the conference Championship… Beneficiaries of weak conference…

    Maybe the Bucs and Bears could get a few more wins a year…
    _______________

    Remind me again the last time the NFC has won the super bowl
    _______________

    Remind ME again the last time the NFC teams didn’t have to grind and beat the snot out of each other just to reach the Super Bowl while the Pats mostly coasted through a soft AFC?

  10. NO one wants to watch games that are decided by officials, not players. It’s the main reason for the ratings decline.

  11. The Patriots are your new national team. The Packers, Steelers, and Cowboys, get their fan bases passed down from Dad in the 60s and 70s. The future is the Patriots.

  12. ironyisadeadscene says:
    January 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Remind me again the last time the NFC has won the super bowl
    ———
    2013 SB, Seattle beat the best offensive team the NFL has ever seen. Seattle was huge underdogs everywhere, except to themselves. The score was 43-8.

    NE’s biggest SB victory was 6 points, and then on the final play of the game. 5 victories, many against lesser teams, with an average victory of 3 points per SB. Now that’s some GREATNESS right there…NE style! And this year, NE gets to face a team with a, wait for it, a backup QB. You just can’t make this stuff up…in the interest of equal and fair competition mind you.

  13. For the NFL as a whole, maybe if the refs didn’t make more impact plays than the players people would still want to watch. I’m not one of those people saying the refs are helping the Pats intentionally, I’m talking about the NFL as a whole. The refs are having a greater impact on the games than the players and that’s a problem. It’s to the point where whenever there is a big play, you automatically expect their to be a flag.

  14. This whole ratings thing is such a red herring. The way people watch TV these days, with streaming, in bars, etc has made the way ratings are tabulated completely obsolete. The major network ratings for regular shows, by that system, are down way more than the NFL. Largely due to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and the streaming services for plug pullers. If the yahoos think the NFL is worried because people claim they’re not gonna watch because the Pats keep winning, the refs, the anthem kneeling, etc(balony), they’re kidding themselves.

  15. They arent down because of me!! I watched almost all of it hungrily. I did start to work on other stuff toward the end of the Eagles Vikes just because it was so over before the end, but it stayed on. And that Patriots Jags game was football at its best. Oh yeah there are crybabies unhappy with who won and lost who are ripping refs, protests, and whatever else they can think of but those are just loser crybabies. Any true fan of football loved that contest. And I watched this week because last week I got treated to some terrific games. Vikes Saints was exciting as hell and what a crazy finish. And Jags Steelers was good tv too. Football has been decent this offaeason and I have been watching and will continue to.

  16. Jags v Pat’s is down .01 from last years NFC game in the same time slot. Vikes v Eagles was down vs last years AFC game due likely to it be an early blowout. Are we saying the NFC game at the early timeslots didn’t have enough stars in it to be a far comparison? Ryan, Jones, Rodgers, Nelson… not stars? So why are we trying to compare the AFC games in different timeslots (and not doing the same with the NFC, btw)

    Let’s not start trying to blame this on a lack of “national” teams in the Championship games. The Jax NE game was a good competitive game and vs the same time slot the game was on par vs the same time slot.

    If you put good football on TV the people will watch.

  17. endtimesparty says:
    January 22, 2018 at 6:23 pm
    The Patriots do not “win all the time.” They win it all less than 50% of the time.

    ——————
    This is true. Of the Belichick/Brady era 8 of 17 campaigns have gone to the Superbowl. And of those 8 they have won 5 with another yet to be played. That can be whined about maybe, but it sure can’t be beat.

  18. The Patriots and the Jaguars game was the lowest rated early conference champion game in the last five years. The Vikings and Eagles game had the second lowest rating for a late conference champion game since 2009.

  19. Super Bowls that have featured Brady & BB have been by FAR the most entertaining Super Bowls played….. right down to the last minute or overtime…..ANYTHING can happen when the 2 best teams are going head to head for all the marbles….. The Eagles D is increadible & Foles, though a back up, has played amaizingly lately…..
    Football is a TEAM GAME so please stop with the back up QB excuses….. that’s nothing more than lip service…..
    The Giants beat the Pats in 2 SuperBowls NOT because Eli is better than Brady, it came down to coaching, gameplanning & execution ( as well as a bit of good fortune here & there)……
    Should be a AWESOME SUPERBOWL!!!
    Go Pats!!!!!

  20. lanman11 says:
    January 22, 2018 at 6:35 pm
    The Patriots are your new national team. The Packers, Steelers, and Cowboys, get their fan bases passed down from Dad in the 60s and 70s. The future is the Patriots.

    ——————-
    The Patriots are the last 17 years. And probably a couple more. After that who knows. It will be nice if they come up with a way to continue it past Brady and Belichick, but Ill take whatever comes and be grateful.

  21. Lemme get this straight….
    People were tuning out all year because the refs were throwing too many flags and ruining the game.
    Now they’re tuning out because the refs only called obvious penalties last night in Foxboro and “let them play”.
    People are strange…….

    And not just last night….. Jax had only 3 flags vs Pitt the week before…… curious nobody seems to mention that…..

  22. The Patriots will win ring #6. I don’t want to say that, but it’s true. And less people will watch. People talk about streaming as if streamers SHOULD count. I’m sorry, but people who stream do two things: 1) Rarely if at all watch the ads, which is why TV is still so important, and 2) Usually only watch their team, and not the bigger games.

    If streaming is such an issue, how is it that baseball, basketball, and college football’s ratings are all UP 5+% in the past 3 years? So the NFL is the only thing that people stream? That makes no sense. If anything, MLB had the streaming services going LONG before the NFL or NBA touched it.

    Point is this: Brady is playing his way into GOAT status, but he’s not bringing in new fans either. The NFL seriously lacks star power. Peyton retiring hurt a lot more than people realize.

  23. skawh says:
    January 22, 2018 at 6:35 pm
    ironyisadeadscene says:
    January 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Remind me again the last time the NFC has won the super bowl
    ———
    2013 SB, Seattle beat the best offensive team the NFL has ever seen. Seattle was huge underdogs everywhere, except to themselves. The score was 43-8.

    NE’s biggest SB victory was 6 points, and then on the final play of the game. 5 victories, many against lesser teams, with an average victory of 3 points per SB. Now that’s some GREATNESS right there…NE style! And this year, NE gets to face a team with a, wait for it, a backup QB. You just can’t make this stuff up…in the interest of equal and fair competition mind you

    —-

    This proves it – you truly don’t understand how greatness is defined or what constitutes it.

  24. I don’t get where these things get calculated- Pats website says this is the highest rated game, including regular tv since last years Superbowl. Having the highest rating TV show of the year is the kind of problem networks love to have.

    Yet were supposed to believe viewers are leaving in droves?

  25. Yikes, wonder what’s going to happen when the NFL Employees protest against the country during the Big Game. Can they count the TV’s being turned off per second?

  26. I didn’t watch either game for the first time in decades.

    NFL is going down the failed path the NBA took trying to “massage the desired outcome”.

    I wasn’t shocked to read that Pats got no calls and Jags got all the critical ones.

    Won’t watch SB either.

  27. higheriqthanyou says:
    January 23, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I didn’t watch either game for the first time in decades.

    NFL is going down the failed path the NBA took trying to “massage the desired outcome”.

    I wasn’t shocked to read that Pats got no calls and Jags got all the critical ones.

    Won’t watch SB either.
    —————————————-

    Can someone help me understand these sort of posts?

    Unless you are part of the Nielson Ratings- nobody knows whether you watched it or not. Certainly no on on this board cares. The Pats game was the second most watched thing on TV after last years Superbowl- so clearly you are in the minority.

    You don’t watch games, including the Super Bowl yet you go to the trouble of opening a WordPress account to comment on an NFL board about how you dion’t watch etc?

    NFL is “massaging outcomes”? How so? if the NFL was altering outcomes the Dallas Cowboys would be winning like the Pats- they are the #1 watched, and have an international following no team can match. Why would they “massage” it for the Jags against Pitt? Everyone wanted to see Pitt. vs NE not Jags vs. NE. Or are we supposed to believe they mysteriously only “massage” Pats games for some unknown random reason.

    Don’t you think they would have “massaged” a SuperBowl between the Steelers and Cowboys by now? That SB would have epic ratings.

    All this jabbering about fixing things, yet it can never be told how, or why, or how nothing gets leaked out. Do you think teams would give multi million dollar contracts to players on “fixed” games?

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