Why is TV viewership down?

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Fewer people are watching the NFL on TV, and no one really knows why.

The NFL Players Association admits that the trend is an obvious concern. The league has kept quiet, likely fearful that talking about the situation would lend credence to the dynamic, possibly causing other fans who are still watching the games to say, “Maybe I should stop, too.”

The decline has become a mystery, for the media and surely for the NFL. The league’s failure to discipline more aggressively players who have engaged in off-field misconduct possibly has turned off some fans. A perception that the league reacts too heavy-handedly in other matters (like #DeflateGate and the Saints bounty scandal) could cause others to think the NFL hopes to steer certain teams toward success and to make it harder for others to succeed.

These two dynamics have contributed to an intense sense of disdain by plenty of fans for Commissioner Roger Goodell. It’s odd, however, to think that fans are choosing not to watch the NFL on TV because they don’t care for the man whose name appears on the football. (That said, it’s likely no accident that Goodell largely stays out of view.)

The disconnect between the images televised across the country in high definition and the things seen by the naked eye in real time by seven officials interspersed with young, strong, large, fast men in armor remains a far bigger problem than the league office ever would admit. The NFL seems to have a general reluctance to fully embrace technology in order to get the calls right. At some point, however, the league must take more seriously the impact of fan frustrations arising from the sense that what everyone else sees is missed by the small group of people whose vantage point is the most important.

The ongoing desire to expand the NFL’s reach to other countries likely alienates some fans as well, given the potential belief that the league is taking the domestic audience for granted as it tries to spread the pro football virus around the globe. The mere mention of, for example, an international franchise or a Super Bowl played beyond borders of the U.S. sparks a strong negative reaction from plenty of fans.

Meanwhile, viewing habits have changed, dramatically. The younger generation no longer congregates around a large box; they carry small ones everywhere they go, constantly staring at them like zombies peering in to a sardine can full of brains. Many members of Generation Z don’t feel compelled to take the time to witness the flow of a game, the shifts in momentum, the nuances that set the stage for game-changing moments in the fourth quarter. They just want the highlights and the stats, so that they can see how their favorite team and, perhaps more importantly, their fantasy team performed.

Speaking of fantasy football, consider the perspective of kids who were born after the rise of what once was a collateral consideration to traditional rooting interests. With the pieces of a fantasy team spread over various NFL franchises, plenty of fans may not have the same zeal about one specific team, with the us-against-the-world mindset inherent to pre-fantasy fans fully undermined by the reality that, for example, an ardent Panthers fan may have Saints quarterback Drew Brees on his fantasy team.

Some would say the election is a factor, but if anything the political consternation should be causing people to more fervently embrace their diversions. Apart from the conflicts between prime-time games and two of the presidential debates, fans should be regarding NFL games as an escape from the political nonsense.

The quality of the early-season matchups could be an issue, due in large part to a lesser number of star players on great teams. Peyton Manning has retired, Tom Brady is suspended (his team nevertheless had two of its first three games televised nationally), and some of the best quarterbacks remain largely unknown and/or unaccomplished.

The concussion crisis, and the reality that football has become the pin cushion for criticism even though plenty of sports and other activities entail a risk of head injuries, likely has caused some fans to feel guilty about watching or enjoying football. In turn, the league’s efforts to make the game safer probably has influenced others who want big hits and who don’t care about the physical consequences to lose interest.

Some are suggesting that the anthem protests are causing fans to boycott the NFL, but it’s hard to see a connection between the objections to the behavior of a small group of players and the decision of significant numbers of fans to deprive themselves of something they enjoy. The NFL has made its position on the anthem clear, and the vast majority of players continue to stand at attention.

Even with the decline, nothing brings a live audience together like the NFL (except for The Walking Dead). But it’s clear the NFL has reason to worry, and that it has work to do. A more aggressive and creating marketing push could be needed, along with a willingness to consider significant changes to the rules and the officiating procedures.

Whatever the reasons, and there surely are many, the NFL has billions of reasons to figure them out — and to begin the process of addressing the problem. Publicly ignoring the issue is fine. If they’re privately paying no attention to it, the league will be in or a rude awakening when the time comes to negotiate the next set of TV deals.

313 responses to “Why is TV viewership down?

  1. Remember when Paul Tagliabue was at the center of constant disciplinary gaffes and manufactured controversies? How about his moronic and continued tweaking of rules without foresight on how it would impact play?

    Yeah me either….Goodell is destroying the sport.
    #BringBackTags

  2. I already told you why.

    A recent market research study shows that viewership is down because Colin Kaepernick brought politics into a realm (sports) where millions of Americans flock to in order to escape, even if for a few hours, the real world which includes said politics.

  3. “We welcome you back from commercials for the kickoff to this great game!”

    “Annnnnnnd it’s a touchback!”

    “We’ll see you back again in 6 minutes after these short commercials!”

  4. When your “leader” is so consumed with making as much money as possible for the owners and alienates the players and fans with decisions that have nothing to do with common sense or the integrity of the game…
    It makes every person decide if watching every game is worth it. If paying big money for everything involved in the NFL is worth it… it goes on and on and whether the owners what to admit it or not, it can all be traced back to Roger Goodell and horrible decisions he has made for the last decade.

  5. People don’t watch things that offend them. Thanks to Goodell’s gross mismanagement you can now pick your poison. For me, it’s seeing the league support people who disrespect the flag, while suspending players for imaginary equipment violations. Regardless, the league has given people too many good reasons to just do something else on Sunday.

  6. I know a handful of people who are not watching games because of the actions of Kaepernick and others. I personally find their reaction to be silly and ironic, but that is their motivation for finding other things to do.

    That, multiplied across the country, and in conjunction with the things listed above, I can see it making an impact.

  7. Lets see, poor officiating, an obscene number of commercials, arbitrary and capricious discipline (or no discipline in some cases), the pure greed of the league and its owners, the mixed messages on player safety, etc.

  8. Its simple. There used to be Sunday Games, and Monday night. Now we have Sunday Games, Sunday Night, Monday Night, and now Thursday Night Games. Over exposure.

  9. because the WWNFL continues to focus on off field soap opera dramatics, political statements and throwing games to the darling of the moment (donkeys, patriots).
    fans are sick and tired of it.
    no credibility in this league.
    water it down and promote favorites so the storylines jive with the marketing.
    nfl has jumped shark. they are just too dumb to realize it yet.
    hell, without FFL’s this would have already happened 5 years ago.

  10. For me NFL games used to be Must See TV. However I have been extremely turned off by the NFL by the way Goodell and the League have been willing to blatantly lie in the Deflategate scandal. In addition, the heavy handed bully-like way they treat the players reinforces to me that the NFL is no game but rather Big Business and profits are the only end goal. So now if I miss a game or two on the weekend, frankly it doesn’t matter. I love football but not the NFL.

  11. Not to mention the absolutely TERRIBLE announcing many of these games have. Why in the world does Chris Berman still ave a job? Is there a kid Gruden doesnt really like?

    I’m tired of all the politcal crap that the networks and broadcasts try to push. I watch football to get away from all of that.

  12. Maybe no one wants to tune in to see millionaires take a knee like they’ve been dealt a bad hand in life. . Be appreciative of the life you have and stand up. Sports are entertainment, ecscapism.. not a social platform to spread your agenda.

  13. This post is nothing but willful stupidity. Colin Kaepernick and his ungrateful ilk are the obvious reason. You can choose to be an American or an African in America, not both.

  14. Flow of the game? What flow.

    Tons of flags. Challenge review process that requires up to 5 minutes. Lots of commercials.

    Quality of product is down too. Especially in September, due to limited practice in pads. September is really sloppy and often bad football.

    How many teams are even legitimate contenders? X
    How many teams are really awful? Y

    Y is far greater than X.

    How many good games are there this week?
    KC – Pittsburgh
    Minnesota – NY Giants
    Seattle – NY Jets

    I count three good games.

  15. Thursday night games are crowing the market. Hard to have the same vigor of viewership spread out over three days.

    The quality of game is in decline: largely based on pass interference calls, instant replay killing emotional reactions (can’t celebrate a big play until you’ve seen a few replays), and over reliance on bad passers

  16. I watch it far less this year mainly because of Goodell.

    His actions against the players make me question the integrity of the league and games.

  17. maybe, the larger markets like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago have such horrible on-field products…maybe the continuous sole focus on revenue is so transparent that it no longer becomes a fun thing to watch. heck the economics to attend a game is better spent buying the latest iPhone or gadget.

  18. The excitement of football is fading… Too many and inconsistent rules, exciting players like Vick, Polamalu etc are gone, too many scandals( all the gates) and nfl players calling attention to themselves instead of the social issues that need improvement…and not many exciting prime time games… I’d say those are enough reasons to turn away. What do you guys think ?

  19. I’m annoyed by the players disrespecting our country. You can protest or make a difference the right way, and yes, I admit, it has tainted this season for me

  20. NFL needs to open Sunday Ticket to more than just DirecTV…I’d love that, just to be able to tell DTV to stick it.

  21. Here’s why it’s down: 1) Commercials every 4-5 minutes. 2)No one can tell what a catch is anymore 3)Waaay to many penalties, many of which are questionable or touchy( i.e. On the QB’s ). 4) There is no flow to the games anymore because of this.
    I only watch my Redskins on tape delay now, so I can fast-forward through all the BS besides the actual game!

  22. I’m not sure why but as I’ve gotten older the appeal of sports and sporting events has waned. As much as I loved football as a young adult I really don’t have time to spend 3 hours watching a game. I mainly DVR the home team and watch a condensed version, blowing through the mindless commentary and commercials.

    It seems the NFL is turning into a soap opera of Twitter feeds and social media events that I don’t really care about.

  23. I also think one-sided reffing is removing parity from the game and below average teams aren’t getting fair chances to succeed.

  24. Well, when the league makes it possible for Peyton Manning to get a SB it surely discourages fans from watching games. There was no need to change defensive pass interference back in the 2000’s just because Manning was not able to beat the Patriots. Then, go forward to SBXL where the NFL obviously rigged it so that the Panthers would not win that game when there were many strange plays. We had Von Miller committing penalties but was not called. Lame just lame. Morever, Manning was never interrogated after a report of him taking HGH suplements around days before the SB. Yet, the league not only haunted Brady and gang for deflategate but also for spygate back in January 2008. These strange factors I bet have discouraged us fans from watching NFL Sunday games. (49ers fan here).

  25. I bet people will say it is because Peyton Manning retired. Can anyone get numbers on fantasy football players for the past few years? It could be one site’s stats. This could show whether there is a general downward trend in NFL interest.

    I quit FF 5 years ago after 10 years of playing because it became boring and took up too much of my time.

    My interest this year has decreased and I wonder if it is due to quitting FF and not being as familiar with the players since quitting FF 5 years ago.

    I also gave up my season tickets because the prices became ridiculous (unless you have Packers season tickets).

  26. Goodell is making things up as he goes. The NFL and Goodell perpetrate lies and false media leaks eliminate all credibility. The greed for profit has officially overexpanded the game and if it weren’t for gambling and fantasy football, the viewership would be 35% less (or more).

  27. regardless of whether patriots actually cheated or not, the fact that the nfl and a team had such a prolonged and litigious public spat has turned a lot of people off football.

    people like their team but hate the league. it’s an odd way to run a business.

    all the bad concussion press doesn’t help either.

  28. NFL Network and ESPN have become greedy over-dramatic news mongers that occasionally play some football games. The NFL is constantly in the news, across all outlets, all year long. Usually for bad reasons. Maybe people are just getting tired of it. I certainly am even as a lifelong NFL fan.

    Plus, we are transitioning to the generation of cable cutters. Some people can’t even watch their local teams because of TV deals signed with certain providers. I can completely understand the lack of interest.

  29. Dude, ya’ll are blind if you dont think this is directly related to the kap attack. People are really pissed that some players chose to demonstrate during a sacred rite. And further, fans see the nfl’s reaction (non reaction) as added insult. Keep on, and you’ ll see who really holds the power.

  30. To blame Goodell is just stupid and to say it had anything to do with Bounty-gate which is like a decade old and Deflategate which is already 2 years old is also uninformed. Playership at youth levels is down, there are a lot of early retirements from the NFL as well, kids are getting involved in other sports and as such, watch those pro sports instead of football. Other sports are also doing a better job of marketing their product and with cable and 900 channels you can find any sport on tv to watch you want, it used to only be football and baseball.

    It is the future and the slow death of football IF the commissioner and the owners start to realize that prices need to drop at stadiums to maintain interest. People can’t relate to pro athletes anymore when a qb makes 120 million dollars in one contract and then signs another contract. I think the NFL is just out of touch with its fan base, fans are tired of losing their favorite players to other teams every year, tired of spending money on jerseys that last 3 years and the player is gone, tired of spending 500-1000 dollars for tickets, food and accessories for a game. In addition, we used to play football in football season and baseball in baseball season, now in football season kids sit in front of video games and pretend to be football players and don’t even bother to watch the real games. Where its not one thing, the one thing is clear is that the NFL and NFL players simply no longer are in touch with the average fan and as such they are finding better things to do with their time.

  31. This I should the most obvious answer EVER.

    REDZONE coupled with the rise of DFS sites like FanDuel/DraftKings have made sitting through a traditional game with commercials feel like tourture.

    Consider this..

    You’ve just sat through seven uninterrupted hours of commercial free football, and all of your DFS entries are a BUST by Sunday night.

    Unless you’re team is in the prime time game, there’s no motivation or incentive for people to sit through all of those commercials and flags and reviews and promos and WHATEVER.. most people are too tapped out mentally or have more enjoyable things to do by the time SNF-MNF-TNF come on.

    So..

    REDZONE + Daily Fantasy Sports = Less interest in a prime time game in which you have no stake.

  32. Let me start by saying it’s free speech, I think the players should stand, but it doesn’t matter what I think, it’s their right as an American. This article does not mention the anthem protests. I know all over the Dolphins message boards is “boycott the Dolphins until the players stand”. On top of that I know a lot of people who said they have stopped watching the NFL because of it. I still tune in because it’s supposed to be my release from the stresses of every day life, but I am a Dolphin fan and they only add to that stress.

  33. My .02

    1. Roger Goodell, he gave Ray Rice 2 games and went out of his way to say what a great guy he is. He personally made sure Mike Vick went to the right situation. He is completely tone deaf to fan’s feelings when his ‘Superstars” mis-behave
    2. Owner Greed-Asking tax payers to build them stadiums. Expanding overseas taking away a home game from now 3 teams a year. Talk about moving in to China and Mexico. There is no reason for the London games other than a pure money grab.
    3.Too many rules-Why isn’t pass interference, illegal contact, and defensive holding just one penalty call pass interference? Why can’t players celebrate and taunt? Have you ever heard an overwhelming amount of fans complain about touch down celebrations?

  34. All TV viewership is down. Olympics was down 20%, but even scripted shows have declines in viewership. There are more media choices than ever before, and media usage has become on-the-go, rather than stationary in front of a box.

  35. The price continues to go higher and higher and the quality of the product is watered down. I hope it gets worse and worse for the league. They all make to much money to begin with and it effects the outcome of the product. Theres more spirit and better competition at the collegiate level……….

  36. Seriously though – On cable, for the past TWO weeks – only one noon game between fox and cbs.

    if that ONE game doesn’t catch my attention, then I change the channel OR I play video games.

    Fantasy football has definitely made me more attentive to all games!

    The quickest way to get me to turn the game off: (1) erroneous / unjust / unbalanced penalties. (2) forcing my hand by offering ONLY ONE game during the noon circuit.

  37. Get back to fundamentals. Keep the game about the game, not all the other stuff.

    Football is supposed to be a sport, not a soap opera.

  38. The people who can’t figure out why the NFL is tanking are the same people who can’t figure out the motivation of Muslims who blow things up

  39. Too much product (Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night) with too many commercials and too many in game promos for network shows and advertisers.

  40. And lastly, my lack of viewership SHOULD NOT BE attributed to the election year.

    The fact that it is an election year and given the context & content of the election, it’s even more of a reason to WATCH NFL on TV.

  41. ” I love football but not the NFL” – what johnjackguy said.

    I love football but I can’t stand the NFL. They have completely messed up the sport. No one knows what a catch is anymore, the product is over-exposed (far too many games at different nights and times), inconsistent approaches to discipline, the NFL’s handling of Spygate (where are the tapes? oh right, burned), Bountygate, Deflategate, Ray Rice, etc, to the sanitization of the sport (remember when player antics used to rile us up – I miss those days), to endless commercials.

  42. Another reason could simply be also parody is at an all time low due to the pats being in 6 of the last 14 super bowls. Nothing against them but it does turn fans of other arc teams off and makes the NFL games boring. Btw it’s ironic that you point out how the NFL should be an escape from politics but with the halftime tyrants avouy gun control and players protesting the flag and the NFL bullying states they don’t agree politically with and the NFL is becoming a government entity in its own right

  43. Mark Cuban was spewing bitter sayings because he’s in a 2nd-rate sport. Let’s see how basketball ratings do.

  44. maybe it’s down because they keep changing the game in the interest of “safety” but instead people can’t sit there watching their favorite team get biasedly penalized every other play for what would have been a great football tackle a few years ago.

  45. It’s too much of it, frankly. And really terrible announcing, generally speaking. Too much “pre-game” stuff. It’s gone overboard.

    Though I do think that Kaepernick and Goodell and Brady are significant variables involved as well.

    McDonough is horrible. Buck is annoying as hell and really a baseball guy anyhow. Nantz is a golf guy really and dull. Almost everybody overanalyzes without just letting action speak for itself.

    The pregame stuff is too much and lot of it fluff that is just to fill air time. It brings very little to the table in terms of understanding of the game. The post game analysis is also overboard and that includes folks form this site involved with that.

    Used to be you watched a sports event and the event spoke for itself. Now it seems like theactual event is almost secondary.

  46. Well written, Mr Florio. Is traffic to this site down? Is there a correlation to NFL viewership? Is that information you would share with the public?

  47. Many fans see the anthem protests as the players disrespecting the beliefs of the viewers, but the real problem is that the viewership has plateaued while the avenues to view the games has multiplied. The quality of the games has also been horrid – a victim of the drop in practice time (thanks NFLPA and owners). They are killing the golden goose.

  48. When fans aren’t a priority for the league, the league won’t be a priority for fans. It also has been a detriment that some players have brought politics into it even after fans told them they don’t want to see it at games.

  49. WHY? Because a Family can do a LOT more and have a lot more fun for the cost of taking 4 people to an NFL game!
    Tickets have gone from $15.00 a ticket to over $150.00
    since the late 70’s then try to feed everybody at one!

  50. I think you underestimate our political crisis’ impact and the anthem protests.

    I DO know people outraged with the NFL for being so passive on the anthem… Regardless of whether we agree or disagree with their politics, it’s pretty simple… If you are passionate about something and you believe the NFL allows its players to disrespect your passion, how happy will you be with the NFL?

    The NFL failing to leverage technology properly has hurt themselves a lot, as well. The exclusivity agreements with Verizon or Sprint or DirecTV are stupid. As such I’m streaming Eagles games from unscrupulous sources every chance I have. I used to be willing to pay the NFL, but because I don’t use any of their exclusive partners I have no choice. Now I get to watch for free.

    Fire Goodell.

  51. Discovery of CTE changing the sport (but for good reason), and more televised games resulting in perhaps lower ratings but greater overall viewership.

    The Kapernick issue has drawn a lot of attention, IMO a good thing, but at the same time that and the CTE issue affects the escapist nature of football and sports in general. The CTE issue perhaps most of all…

    The simpler days of Hank Williams and all his rowdy friends are no longer…

  52. Today’s NFL is simply not as good as yesterday’s NFL. The fans are walking away because they want the focus to be on football, not political agendas. A good clean legal hit yesterday is now a 15 yard personal foul. Thursday night football is like having leftovers for dinner. East Coast Fans that have jobs to go and must get up at 6:30 AM aren’t willing to stay up til midnight on Sunday & Monday night anymore to watch this declining product.

  53. How about a disjointed game with overly technical rules (what is a catch?), constant interruptions of the flow of the game for ticky tack calls with long-winded explanations by the ref, too many commercials, suggestive and/or quasi obscene twerky touchdown celebrations unfit for young viewers, the replay rule (remember when we used to live with calls, good or bad, but the game at last had flow?), and constant rule changes seemingly the result of a compulsion to tweak and tweak for no good reason. The bureaucrats are killing our sport. If they eliminate the kickoff I am G-O-N-E.

  54. The main reason people are not watching the games as much anymore is because first, the politics of disgracing our flag and the whole movement of one race instead of one people united together. The next thing is that you can flat out see the thrown games of the officiating that started during the replacement officials and continued on when the regulars returned. The Superbowl was a joke simply because before the game ever started, the one official was sighted by public media that Payton Manning had never lost a game while he was officiating the game. This didn’t start with the Superbowl and hasn’t ended with it. Clearly we are seeing a WWE Fake-style NFL flag football type of league now and it just seems that it isn’t true to its past roots and instead headed toward over paid non-professionals complaining because their head hurts or ankle is sore. We want the days of hitting like when it was during Terry Bradshaw’s days. Add all this up on top of the stupid commercials after every touchback and change of possession and you’ve pushed your true audience away and let little boy girls take over and their to busy playing pokémon to watch your sissy-fid game. Truth hurts, now what are you going to do about it?

  55. For me the reasons are simple:

    1. Cord-cutting. We got rid of cable about 4 years ago, and I’ll never go back. Best decision I’ve made. Amazon Prime + Netflix is ~25$/month compared to ~125$/month for hundreds of channels of crap. But I have no access to ESPN or NFL Network.

    2. I live out-of-market so i can’t see my favorite team, even if I wanted to. I don’t care about the local teams. I want to watch the Browns. I WANT to give the NFL my money to watch my team, but there’s just no options available. I can’t even listen to the radio stream anymore since the AudioPass option went away a few years ago.

    Since I can’t watch my team, I’m satisfied following box scores throughout the games.

  56. I’m going to make this really easy for you… NFL is the least accessible sport out of all major sports via watching options. I can get an MLB, NHL, or NBA season pass for $120-$160. You have to have DIRECTV and pay ridiculous premium to watch. That coupled with the oversaturation of Thursday night, Sunday night, and Monday night games have created a situation where people are just apathetic towards the NFL.

  57. It’s not necessarily Kaepernick. It’s the endless discussions on ALL NFL shows demanding that we address it. I’m sorry but it’s not what”white America” wants to discuss or listen too hour after hour.

    Yes it’s important but I turn off every lead-in show, NFL network, ESPN show and CBS, NBC and FOX show the minute it starts with a “discussion”. Not because I’m racist or immune to the problems in this country but because I tune in to watch football.

    I can’t tell you how many times I turn it off then never go back to the game.

  58. Greedy owners….Greedy Management….
    Expect fans to pay for their stadiums while they bank millions. No loyalty to the cities and fans who spent hard earned money and then were jilted by owners who could make more money somewhere else. The economy is poor, jobs are disappearing, politicians take care of themselves and screw us.
    Ignorant players who insult our veterans, engage in criminal behavior and die too young from injuries, often broke. Gee I wonder why…..

  59. Possibly it is because fans no longer want to get attached to their team and then have it ripped from them over money.

    See movement from St Louis, possible movement of other franchises (Oakland, San Diego), talk of putting franchises in other countries, etc. I myself watch very little anymore and do not buy from companies who sponsor the NFL.

  60. But to tag on to my negative comment, the one surprise pleasure I’ve had watching the NFL this season has been watching the Thursday games on Twitter. It’s easy and convenient, it allows me to move from place to place while still tracking the game on TV or my phone, the picture is better than I get on, say, NBC through my digital antenna, and it’s free.

    The NFL bean-counters can try to mine the data all they want, but if we’re not enjoying consuming their product, everything else is futile. Somehow, the league not only survived but thrived when the only choices were paying to watch a game in person and seeing it for free on TV. Something’s been lost now.

  61. I’m a rabid Bucs fan (Lord knows why) and will always watch their games. But I’ve lost some interest in watching other NFL games. Here is why:

    *I’ve become addicted to RedZone Channel. The ADHD that that creates makes it hard to watch a full game.
    *The ticky-tack defensive penalties that are called make this game nearly unwatchable. Is there anything worse than a great sack that is negated by a light brush to the QB’s face mask?
    *Finally, here is the non-PC reason: I have loved watching guys get blown up. I like the hits that used to be on “Jacked Up!” I don’t want the concussion protocol. Sorry. But there it is.

  62. Sunday Ticket is just too expensive.

    The NFL should stream games on their own through the NFL app and website, and charge around $150 per season (for all games including Red Zone, Fantasy highlights and replays).

  63. It seems rather obvious. The TV isn’t the only way to watch the game, in fact, if you don’t have Direct TV, you can only see what game the local stations wish to broadcast. Today fans would like to have multiple viewing options, including the option of watching whatever team you wish no matter where one is located. While this technology is certainly available, the NFL has been slow to adopt is fully.

  64. Refer to the “Monday night ratings down, again” article’s comments section, and you’ll have your answers.

  65. I have two theories. No facts back these. Just simply my own.

    1. Over saturation.
    Jan – Feb – Superbowl
    March – TELEVISED (for some reason) Combine
    April – Draft
    May – Mini camp
    July – Aug – Camp
    Sept – Dec – Regular season
    Dec – Jan – Playoffs

    There’s literally only 1 month of the year that the NFL has nothing to broadcast. It’s on ALL THE TIME.

    2. The rise in popularity of college football.
    The college football playoff drew more views than 3 of the 4 Divisional playoff games last season. That’s very telling. The fact that in the NFL every offense look like a carbon copy of each other. And much the same with defenses. In the college game you have more types of offenses. Yes the spread offense is dominate. But you also have Georgia Tech running a triple option. Navy as well. Then you have I formations like in Wisconsin. Much more to choose from.

    Just my two cents.

  66. People are dropping cable left and right (because it’s pointlessly expensive) and there are entirely too many commercials/ads. On top of that, the game is changing…I won’t say good or bad, but it’s changing. The officiating is completely insane nowadays…NFL is gonna see a decline much like boxing did back in the day.

    OH! Also, the SNF intro is so bad it makes me want to throw up.

  67. Between Goodell being a complete lying fraud who has changed way too many rules and all replays now going to the New York hub to give the league more control over which teams to “help” and which teams to “screw over” the league has lost all credibility to me.I stopped watching the NBA 5 years ago because of officials deciding more games than the players and the NFL is doing the same thing so i stopped spending a dime on any NFL product until Goodell is gone.
    And now with the players disrespecting the flag and the game becoming so soft it`s no better watching NFL games than it is high school or college it`s a lot easier to walk away.Goodell has done more to “damage the shield” than anyone in NFL history and gets paid 30-40 million a year to do it so i guess the owners have to be included in the problem.

  68. 1) Over-saturation. And Thursday night games are often very boring.

    2) Too many flags. The game has become over-reffed with too many ticky-tack flags.

    3) Too many commercials. As someone who enjoys the complex game of football even I watch redzone (or something else) because I don’t want to watch 60 minutes of football, 60 minutes of commentary, and 60 minutes of commercials.

    4) There’s no one to like. Black millionaires constantly losing to out-of-touch white billionaires.

  69. The NFL used to be focused on the heroes and the game acquiring revenues from the sponsorship and commercial air time. It changed when it focused on the revenue beginning with the only Direct TV, Red Zone and their exclusive contract for 18 yrs and Blackouts. This has alienated and separated the ordinary fan from the game as a start. Then after focusing on the revenue it has geared the rules towards entertainment and protection of the ridiculous contracts paid to high end players and the treatment/news, low punishment of criminal activities from the players to go on with the show mentality. What happened to the “Game”, remember NFL films highlights to Greg Hardy fiasco. Greed for money and entertainment has pushed away the sport everyone one used to call “The Gridiron” part of the game. We used to have gladiators, now we have concussion protocol. Sorry, the game causes concussions. Seems like money and caring for the past players caused a wave for them to be taken care of and haven’t been so a suit was formed. Future players should have a waiver signed if you want to play, Medical and pension plans in place that make sense, to take care of those who play. Shame on the NFL for the greed from the Owners who forgot true tradition, loyalty and the love for the game. I’m not a Dallas fan but the way Coach Landry was pushed out sort of sticks out on what has changed.

  70. So tell me, how low do the ratings have to go before people will drop the old “the owners will never fire Goodell because he’s made so much money for the league” myth?

  71. the networks are screwing themselves by showcasing every negative thing in their weekly build up shows and pre game shows instead of hyping the event. the networks also have way to much political commentary and political stories.
    the nfl needs to be an event. with build up of the actual games themselves. not a chance for people to get on their soapbox.

  72. To add to my comment from above, even the draft isn’t 2 days any more. It’s now a 3 day prime time event. People are getting sick of the NFL being shoved down their throats 12 months a year.

    I watch the Bills games and that’s about it. I don’t even watch the Sunday or Monday night games anymore, even if they have fantasy implications. Over saturation is the biggest reason in my view.

  73. How about less commercials. like way way way less. like not having one after each play. these guys play ONCE a week. why they need so many in game commercial breaks (other than to stuff owners pockets) is ridiculous…. was watching one game this year..couldn’t tell you when or who was playing but the sequence of events was:

    -TD
    -commercial (for review)
    -PAT
    -commercial
    -kickoff/touchback
    -commercial

    so that was about 10 minutes worth of commercials and only about 10 seconds ran off the game clock with zero plays of consequence ran.. such a joke..that’s as many commercials as a NHL game has in one 20 minute period.

  74. I used to watch every game I could.

    The absurd lies about concussions, lies about Ray Rice, lies about Troy Vincent’s offer to AP, lies about the Saints, lies about the Dolphins, Ted Wells, Exponant, disproportionate sanctions for violent crimes compared to lesser transgressions (some unproven), lies about sworn testimony, lies lies lies.
    Then we get to chew on some NFL tool telling us everything is about integrity.

    That’s why I only watch my team now and won’t buy or accept NFL gear.

    If you don’t like social protest-don’t watch, it serves my goal too.

    If you don’t like the officiating-don’t watch.

    If you don’t like the rule hanges-don’t watch.

    Got something better to do-don’t watch

    Feel like your team is slighted-don’t watch.

    Don’t like International expansion-don’t watch.

    Feel like your are taken for granted or advantage of-don’t watch.

    It’s all good with me.

    The end result will be an awakening of the living dead (the owners) and the demise of the commissioner. That really should be the common goal.

  75. The in game experience is getting old to. season ticket holder for 20 years and I no longer look forward to going to the games. way too overpriced as I get older in life.

    – Rules are too subjective it’s becoming like NBA basketball. PI calls illegal contact touching a players head are now designed to fix the outcome of games
    – TOO MANY TIME outs no flow to the game.
    – bring back football to football, the concussion player safety issues are idiotic. either play or don’t we all know repeated hits to the body and head HURT THE BODY AND HEAD.
    – politics and soap opera crap started NFL and run into the ground with the likes of BSPN.
    – No more Ray Lewis and Ed Reed two of the greatest defensive players of all time!

  76. Hello? Hellooo…is anyone listening? Just a little suggestion, no biggie…just me and all my friends have concluded that over hyped story lines, stupid commentary from TV hosts, TV commercials up the wazoo, attempted globalization of games, the constant restructuring of rules to help offenses, players who think their opinions actually matter & referees using flags to dictate the outcome of games is just really hard to watch. Just sayin’….anyone listening?

  77. The NFL does not care about it’s fans. I used to watch all football games now I only watch mine and only because my adult children come over my house to watch. The only way I figure I can let them know is by NOT watching. Evidently I am not the only one!

  78. Ads, over saturation, cord cutters, rule changes that remove a great deal of physicality from the sport while still denying the impact concussions have, sub par rule interpretation (what is a catch anyway?), seemingly random discipline (2x smoke weed = 16 games, beat your wife = 4 games, etc, over celebrating in the endzone = 15 yards and $12k)

    But for me – the people that play football are making me want to watch less football. I can’t justify rooting for an uneducated, drug addicted, DUIing, spouse abusing, rapist, entitled multi-millionaire anymore.

  79. Lots of good insights above.

    I’ll add that the players union voicing loud complaints about the NFL, how it is terrible, greedy, unfair etc. deteriorates the marketing of the product.

    Just the opposite of “we know you have a choice who you fly with, thanks for choosing us” or similar utterances that show that the players are proud of the NFL and want us to watch.

  80. Is it that hard to figure out? Blame Goodell all you want, but he’s not the reason ratings are going down. If you don’t like Goodell, fine, but how is that stopping you from watching football? No, whether you agree or not, like it or not, in my opinion, the two major reasons why viewership is down is because:

    1) The Kaepernick and others like him effect. This is our sport that is supposed to be entertaining and a break from life’s issues and devoid of politics. Anyone who doesn’t think this is having a negative effect on fans is being rather close-minded.
    2) The constant changing of the rules thinking you’re making it “better” when actually you’re doing the opposite. Kickoffs, PAT’s, is it a catch? is it a fumble? Is it pass interference? It’s gotten ridiculous.

  81. they’ve overextended their brand. There is no off season anymore.
    there are already Mock Drafts created for next season.

    I used to look forward to my entire Sunday doing nothing but watching football. Monday Night Football was an event. Now I purposely canceled the NFL channel so I couldn’t watch games on Thursday. I watch my favorite team’s game and then maybe catch the Sunday night game.

    Fantasy Football is the Dungeons and Dragons of this generation.

    The Red Zone channel takes all the drama out of watching a game.

    why do I care about the NFL playing a game in China?

  82. I think this is correct:

    “Meanwhile, viewing habits have changed, dramatically. The younger generation no longer congregates around a large box; they carry small ones everywhere they go, constantly staring at them like zombies peering in to a sardine can full of brains. Many members of Generation Z don’t feel compelled to take the time to witness the flow of a game, the shifts in momentum, the nuances that set the stage for game-changing moments in the fourth quarter. They just want the highlights and the stats, so that they can see how their favorite team and, perhaps more importantly, their fantasy team performed.”

    But only if the 12-20 year old demographic is where the losses are coming from. I watch just as much NFL football as ever, if not more, but I’m not a gen x or z er.

  83. Last thing on my comment. (They come to me after I reread what I posted lol)
    the three other major sports go away in the off season. Rarely heard form.
    From November – the beginning of March is there any real mention of baseball? No. Even in spring training it’s a ho hum atmosphere.
    Same can be said for the NBA and NHL from July – October. Not much is mentioned.

    The NFL is on ALL THE DAMN TIME.

  84. I’ve only watched the 3 games my team has played and maybe another 30 minutes of all the other games. Packers have their bye this week and I may not watch a minute of NFL Football this weekend.

    It IS mostly the Goodell Effect for me and now with the players kneeling… I found other things to do with my extra time.

  85. Attending and watching games is something young people aren’t interested in. Because of their devolving attention spans, it’s become “high-lites only please.” It’s just like their disdain for real conversations.

  86. I still thin it’s a damn crime when the NFL steals home field advantage from a northern franchise, and gives it to one of their buddies with a southern domed stadium, and buckets full of money. A Superbowl in Seattle, Buffalo, Minneapolis, or New England could be worth Billions to a small market. But instead they give it to New Orleans, Dallas, or another southern metropolis location, who have hosted many SB’s before. Pure robbery.

    And the main point is the NFL is “a don’t confuse me with facts, my minds made up.” And so If the fans don’t matter, what’s left?

  87. It is really simple -Kaepernick and his fellow (ignorant) protestors are given a pass while the Dallas Cowboys can’t put a decal on their helmet in support of the five murdered policeman.

  88. I believe there are serious fans and there are casual fans. The serious fans follow their team faithfully, watch most if not all of the available games, especially those of their key opponents.

    The casual fans are most likely there because of the serious fan: it’s the serious fan that hosts the game-day party, runs the fantasy league…..basically keeps the casual fan interested.

    My feeling is that for every serious fan lost there will be the collateral damage of losing some casual fans.

    I believe many, if not all of the factors mentioned in the article are part of the problem. Different people have different reasons…..but together they add up to a large problem: the decision-making of the league is affecting the interest level of fans.

    I’m a Pats fan and I watch all Pats games, although I sometime must DVR them. I haven’t watched a pregame show in years……even the SB pregame shows. I used to, but not any more. Much like the oversaturation of games on TV (which I used to love) the oversaturation of long-winded opinions that I couldn’t care less about got old for me.

    The last couple years I’ve watched maybe half of the Thursday night games, but please, the color rush uniforms are an eyesore and drive me away. Monday night games used to be must-see, but for me now it has to be an awesome matchup, which means I don’t watch most of them.

    Being the guy that runs the family & friends fantasy league, I’m even losing interest in that. I finally gave my team a name this week, but I’m still yet to make my first transaction since the draft. And my team is 1-2. Figure that one out.

    Maybe the NFL needing to be in the news 24/7 is part of the problem. Games used to be like a special event…..they just don’t have that feel any more.

    It’s kind of like the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. For me it is a must-see movie every year and I’ve been watching it for probably 30 years. I could probably lip-sync most of it. But I still look forward to watching it; it’s almost a ritual of the season for me. But if it was on once a month….it would lose its appeal.

    Of course….here I am reading and commenting on a site that covers the NFL. What do I know.

  89. Goodell phuques with the integrity of the game(joke) and the way it is played(no joke) and the players disrespect the flag and country! if they want to protest go where the supposed atrocity occurred and picket the courthouse the jail or city hall… oh wait then they would put there money/time where their ignorance is

  90. For all of you folks that say that you know people that are tuning out because of Kaepernick, unless those people have a Nielsen box hooked to their television, then whether they watch or not doesn’t matter to the ratings.

    That said, the person that stated that the NFL should stream the games themselves, and open it up to anyone, was correct.

  91. Because it’s not nearly as fun as it used to be. Because which channel or Twitter is the game on? Because it’s fixed.

  92. Football had its heyday, it’s now a game in decline. Too many lawyers and lawsuits. We live in a different world now, football players have rights.

  93. Between Kaepernick bring politics into the game and Goodell heavily influencing teams with his unevenly dispensed justice it’s turning folks away.

  94. Well, I don’t watch TV at all anymore. It seems like all of the programming is either designed to incite controversy or outrage or is just total garbage. It used to be that sports were an entertaining escape but now they are heavily politicized just like everything else nowadays. Networks have seemingly embraced or encouraged the shift towards politicizing sports and promoting controversy. ESPN has been particularly fond of this type of thing, with shows like First Take and launching offensive, racial/politically motivated sites like The Undefeated. I got tired of being wound up all the time, so I found something better to do. Life’s too short

  95. florio says the election should make people flock to games as a diversion to political nonsense. the nfl is full of political nonsense now. i can’t watch espn anymore. too many political stories. pre game shows, etc. even the game itself. we are dying for a diversion and the nfl isn’t giving it to us.

  96. The inconsistent legislation of the rules by the refs and Goodell.

    The product has become sissified, unpredictable and inconsistent.

    There’s more drama in player discipline than the outcome of the games.

    Did I mention a world class idiot as a commissioner?

  97. It’s not hard to figure out. The league is run by northeastern elitists who look down their noses at the middle class.

    As such, they can’t understand why anyone would be offended by Colin Kaepernick’s behavior, and then be even more offended when other players follow his lead. There are a whole bunch of military veterans and their families that make up the NFL’s fan base.

    Hey Roger, if you think those people, who make a pittance compared to any NFL player, are just going to sit there and be fine with actions like kneeling during the national anthem, then you need to get out of New York and spend some time in flyover country.

  98. My point of view is the whole NFL is on the decline, for a majority of reasons. 1. To much NFL – NFPA infighting and finger pointing, after awhile that gets really old to watch and listen to. 2. To many trouble makers getting a slap, on the wrist and all being forgiven. 3. This year the whole National Anthem protest and fist in the air. there is a time and place for protest and speeches and the football field is not that place. 4. To many changes in the game, the more the changes they make, the worse the game is to watch. 5. Referees can not make a ruling, they all have to huddle up and take a 10 minute break to discuss what this one seen and then they still get a lot of them wrong. 6. There are now so many rules and ways to see them that no one even knows the rules any more. 7. Q.B. either needs to be a football player and be treated as such or put a flag on him and let the other 10 players decide the outcome. 8. These guys that make the rules think a D-back can in mid air change their direction when a receiver curls up and not hit them in the head is absurd. I use to watch EVERY game that was televised in my area but now days I can not even get up to watch my team play sometimes, It is just not the same game any more. Give me the old rules and Sunday football with ONE Monday night game and NO Thursday game except for Thanksgiving, they have over saturated the NFL and all this crap talk about expanding over seas is hog wash too.

  99. I think the biggest issue is that an NFL game is FAR to long/slow. There’s no way a sport that has 75 minutes of actual game & intermission time should take 3.5 to 4 hours to watch. (sane) People are far too busy to spend 2-3 hours watching commercials when they can either DVR the game, watch redzone or simply go outside and be productive.

    Adding more “technology” to get calls right will only make it worse unless there are rule changes that simplify reviewable items. What’s a catch, what’s a fumble … spending 10 minutes looking at a 1 frame per second replay for any possible wobble of the ball or which blade of grass a receivers toe touched is beyond insane already.

  100. Same problem that Comic Cons are having, oversaturation and low interest celebs. Redzone isn’t helping nor is the WWE management style on Park Ave. Sitting and kneeling by ignorant racists is the final nail.

  101. They ask these questions but they don’t really want the answers…because the answers go against their goals. So until the NFL starts losing revenue, a byproduct of reduced viewership, they aren’t listening.

    But just in case someone in the future decides to listen…here it is again:

    Just Play Football!

    1) Stop all the opinionated propaganda, no one cares what the players, owners or commentators think. We don’t watch Football to hear other people’s opinions.
    2) Stop the over-protective rules that make the games look more like ‘laundry day’ than Football day. I understand safety, we all do. But reality is the game is violent, we all watch because it’s violent & players assume that risk when they step on the field. That risk comes with rewards, the opportunity to get rich.
    3) Stop trying to involve the World. Reality check: after 10 years of involving other Countries in the NFL…how much progress is there? Do they watch? Apparently not. Otherwise this question wouldn’t even be posed.
    4) Stop changing the rules to help the offense! For one, People don’t like having to relearn the rules every year. Second, and here’s a SHOCKER! People like their teams to playing defense. This flag football trend is just dumb.

  102. Maybe it’s because it’s beyond creepy to know the commissioner commits consumer fraud like Bernie Madoff, right out in the open, gets caught, lies, lies some more, has 3 federal judges tell him he’s a liar, and fans cannot figure out how on god’s green earth he hasn’t been fired?

    This guy has helped slowly destroy the product in the last 10 years.

    He was told do whatever he wants as long as he grows the league.

    Guess what? His greedy behavior, along with the owners, has watered this product down that I hope there is a strike until the owners (not including Bob Kraft who would love to remove Goodell at this point), fire him.

  103. I agree with many of the comments regarding the flow of the game and overly complicated rules. I would also add the over fining for taunting and general lack of discipline for domestic abusers and domestic assailants (not to mention the disproportionate fine amounts for silly taunting and blows to the head). I know of many people who are now boycotting the NFL due to the nomination of Darren Sharper to the Hall of Fame. And as a Vikings fan and a parent, I almost stopped watching during the Adrian Peterson’s suspension due to the way it was handled as well. So, for many people, when you add up all of these factors, they decided they were simply done and did not wish to give anymore credence to a league the supposedly wants players to be role models, but does not levy punishments in a manner consistent with their rhetoric.

  104. “Some are suggesting that the anthem protests are causing fans to boycott the NFL, but it’s hard to see a connection between the objections to the behavior of a small group of players and the decision of significant numbers of fans to deprive themselves of something they enjoy.”

    As long as the press and the NFL continue to believe that this isn’t a major part of the problem, the ratings decline will continue. For me and my family, we enjoy the freedom of this country much more than we enjoy watching a bunch of entitled players who have never had to fight to maintain that freedom continue to disrespect what the flag represents.

    Even though it’s “a small group of players” who are protesting, it’s obviously a large group of fans who would rather do something else than agree with their methods. While their cause is valid, they could do more good by working directly with both sides to bridge the gap rather than self-promoting.

  105. today’s fan is mobile and wants to be able to watch any game playing at any time. Not the same game the local channel want’s to show. Just because you live in Tennessee you are not a Titans fan. Hey let’s stream one on Twitter….ok that’s enough, now move it to ESPN, next week the NFL Network. To much to keep up with and I am cutting the cord so bye, bye…..

    Sunday Morning Games from London, Sunday Games, Sunday Night, Monday Night, and now Thursday Night Games……overexposure…..

    My wife recorded a dozen games shown last year and calculated the actual playing time she watches in a game…..want to guess anyone? Only 13 to 14 minutes of the game was actually players playing. She had to fast forward thru more commercials in the first quarter than what actually playing time she watched in the entire game….

    Too many teams and not enough high caliber players in the game anymore. I mean seriously how many times do we need to see that the Browns and Titans are going to suck again….there are already four 0-3 teams this year….yawn….

    Disrespect to our country and it’s flag….If you don’t want to stand up and defend her still today….keep the bench warm backup….you and your head coach are on the way OUT! Play the game we don’t need your politics or personal beliefs brought into the game….

    The hundred of millions fleeced from fans with Personal Seat Licenses, new stadiums built for 10 home games a year, overpriced food and drinks, drunk unruly fans in the stadiums……the list goes on…..why the seats have been empty for years and now fans are not even tuning in…..

  106. Some of you have it spot on for the reasons for this. Corny pre game shows, annoying co commentators, to many rules which leads to too many penalties which leads too even more stoppages. On top of that we get commercials that seem to be more free flowing than the game itself especially at the start of games. Modern people will not put up with how much time you need to allocate for games of football. I personally am really only interested in watching my team. Remember trying to get a friend intrested but after about 10 minutes watching and about 3 minutes of game he lost interest.

  107. There’s simply too many other things going on and too many ways to watch it.

    The Thursday Night games are a mistake in my opinion as well. Monday to Thursday is ridiculous turn around time to start a “new week.” Let us miss football for six days…….

    I also think that there have been so many seemingly inconsistent and arbitrary decisions made by Goodall and the league over the past few years, that it’s negatively impacted the credibility of the product. They make what, 9 billion a year? ………and the leadership comes across as professional wrestling.

  108. Myself and several life long fans are watching less this year. While life certainly has gotten in the way somewhat, a common refrain we have is that the quality of the game is going down. Particularly, the game-changing impact that ridiculous personal foul calls have. The game is slanted towards the offense and any emotion seems to be frowned upon and hit with flags.

    Football used to be NFL Films music with Dick Butkus just pummeling receivers going over the middle. Savage? Perhaps. But, we aren’t that far removed from the Romans (nor the football players from the Gladiators). The NFL continues to push further into the mainstream and, in doing so, are alienating the massive base the success of the game is built upon.

  109. NFL is in transition with lots of stars during the boom of the 2000’s gone or nearly gone. The cowboys always draw big ratings because you are either a cowboys fan or you enjoy watching them lose. Same for Brady, Manning, etc. So far the next generation of stars are either less likable (Cam Newton) or haven’t had time to establish themselves (Wentz/Prescott). If the ratings are still down in week 14 then there is cause for concern, but for the moment this is just the growing pains while the next generation establishes themselves.

  110. “At some point, however, the league must take more seriously the impact of fan frustrations arising from the sense that what everyone else sees is missed by the small group of people whose vantage point is the most important.”

    You nailed it. Am I’m not talking about the refs.

    Also, redzone channel.

  111. It’s not just one thing. It’s a group of issues causing it. The “protests”, people against Goodell, too many commercials, the seemingly blatant blown calls by refs and the Thursday/Sunday/Monday Night match ups which to most, if it’s not your team, than you’re probably not watching it and maybe, just maybe that people are focusing more on their home and family rather than watching football all day on Sundays? I for one fall into the latter, a young son around now means I don’t get to watch football all day and drink beer anymore which is what I used to do. I’m 31 and a father now. I watch my Vikings, haven’t missed a game since 2007, but for the last two years now, I really haven’t watched a whole lot of other football when the Vikings game wasn’t on.

  112. “At some point, however, the league must take more seriously the impact of fan frustrations arising from the sense that what everyone else sees is missed by the small group of people whose vantage point is the most important.”

    You nailed it. And I’m not talking about the refs.

    Also, redzone channel.

  113. 1st and 10- screen pass that’s over thrown or at the receivers feet

    2nd and 10- running up the middle for 4 yards, holding call

    3rd and 15- short pass to the regain 5 yards

    4th and 10- punt

    COMMERCIAL BREAK- 2 hours

  114. It’s a brutal game. I am sure I’m probably in the minority on this, but I find myself cringing at some of the hits in the game and what I know might be long-term consequences. The nostalgic within me hates to see players that I once cheered for suffering the way some do in their post-playing days. I know we all make choices and so do they, and yeah that should make it easier I guess, but it doesn’t.
    It doesn’t help that not only does my team suck, they seem to be on no trajectory for improvement. Between the two I’ve checked out a bit. Not only did I drop DirectTV/NFL Sunday ticket for this year, but I probably won’t get it next year either. I admit I might feel differently down the line.

  115. All those reasons given in the article and not one of them were in regards to the ridiculous amount of commercials during every NFL game, yet they question why people stop watching?

    Maybe the fact that not only are there about a thousand too many commercials to begin with, but its the same commercials over and over that businesses are willing to overpay for so the NFL and its owners can become richer and richer.

    Think that’s a valid reason, and one of the main reasons at that

  116. ON top of everyone’s stupid theories you can also catch any other sport you want right now.

    World cup of hockey
    Every soccer league is now on TV over here.
    Champions league every night.
    September baseball

    More options less views………..plain and simple.

  117. People are finally figuring it out.

    1. Fixed games … the refs/league are deciding the games. It’s always the same teams that are getting flagged or are benfiting from the flags.

    2. Greed … A million commercials, teams wanting taxpayers to pay for new stadiums.

    3. Politics … Seriously what Kaepernick has started was pure garbage.

  118. Inertia carried me through the poor officiating, and the endless commercials. But the politics felled a decayed tree. When the league prohibits honoring fallen officers in Dallas but allows millionaire backups to protest “oppression” I can no longer support their product.
    I still love my Broncos, yes I check the scores, but I will not watch the games or buy from their advertisers. My once rabid fandom has withered to mild interest, and now that I have found other pastimes I’m not sure it will ever return.

  119. It’s really odd how Kaepernick taking a stand is supposed to be respected but if I choose to take a stand for what I perceive as a show of disrespect for what the National Anthem represents, I’m a moron. I don’t like it when someone disrespects what I see as a song that honors the people who fought for this country, the greatest one on earth BTW. He should find a new way to take a stand and fight his fight. Im not disagreeing that he’s right or wrong, just that he’s going about it all wrong.

  120. It’s defense.

    Teams watched what the NFC West was doing for the last five years, and realized defense wins championships.

    Take the 2013 season as an example: both teams in the NFC Championship game were from the West, and it was a very close game, with the defense winning it in the final minute by tipping/intercepting the ball in the end zone. The winner of that game went on to play a historic offense that broke multiple records, and beat them 43-8.

    Two years later, the loser of that game had one of the best defenses in the NFL (if not THE best), no effective quarterback, and won Super Bowl 50 against a team that went almost undefeated that season.

    Now teams are building out their defense. The Giants are notorious for not spending a lot in the off-season, but went on an insane spending spree this season…almost all on defensive players.

    And casual viewers don’t like defense. They want to see spectacular offensive plays, not a defense that takes those plays away.

    So those casual viewers find something more exciting to them to watch instead. Because they just don’t really understand the game in the first place.

  121. -Will add that the kneeling / fist-raising thing annoys me but has no impact on my viewership. It’s before the game and I’m not watching because I think these guys are moral heroes.
    -Commercials and review are def too much…particularly during Super Bowl, my least favorite broadcast of the year. But I feel like the commercials have always been roughly this long and can’t say that’s the reason.
    -Guys like Greg Hardy, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson have no impact on my viewership. With a guy like Hardy, I enjoy watching him and hoping the O-lineman cuts his knee awkwardly.
    -Being aware of head injuries doesn’t change my viewership. At least not directly. Football players I’ve known (not professional) understand the general risk…it’s not a long-term healthy life. It’s glory and competition though and I don’t feel like a monster knowing that a guy will get a concussion at some point. 100% all for the true player safety stuff…penalize brandon merriweather spearing to the helmet and keep going with the concussion protocol. It’s a risk of playing and you mitigate it where you can, no guilt.
    -Again though, I’m tired of watching a game and a defense makes a huge 3rd down stop only to see a first down get awarded to offense because the d-lineman grazed the QBs facemask or a defender made brushing contact with a defender 7 yards down the field.

  122. Why is TV viewership down?

    • NFL gave Directv a monopoly over games
    • Too expensive to get Directv
    • They can’t count the numbers of people watching free via Kodi

  123. Finally!! People are demanding a better product and not just finding a way to explain away inferiority to themselves.

    And I’m not just talking about football.

    Products become habitual in people’s lives and stop trying but people won’t change their habits, they just put up with it. Everything you watch, buy or do is a vote for everything that thing supports. These days a lot of people are voting for China. Stop voting for rich people and vote for your neighbors, teachers and children.

  124. They say they pride themselves in parity but the same teams keep winning, every year. The officiating sucks and every televised game seems to feature the same teams over and over. It just gets boring.

  125. 1. Too many commercials
    2. Incoherent rules
    3. Rodger
    4. The death of the middle class in this country thanks to people like the 32 owners who put money over country and now we have a clown show for a presidential election, corruption breeds discontent.
    5. Some people equate Kaps and other’s actions as being anti American even though it is not, it is truly American (protesting injustice even though I would not do it that way).
    6. They have saturated the product to a point where I don’t feel the ‘urge’ to watch it all anymore (and most dont’ have time anymore thanks to that middle class thing).

  126. I would argue that a constant dicking around with the rules has turned off the fans as much as anything.
    The recent actions of primadonna players is icing on the cake.

  127. I have no desire to watch a bunch of overpaid jerks insult me and my country every time I tune in to watch a game. Proud to say I have not watched a single game this year nor will I. boycott the NFL and all of its sponsors

  128. There are a multitude of factors. To me, technology plays a part. Nobody wants to see the commercials, so they DVR the game, watch it later where they can flip forward even between plays and watch the game in about 30 minutes. Are the ratings capturing these people in their numbers? don’t see how they can when my DVR will let me record 5 different channels at once. Which one of those channels gets the “live ratings?”

    Also, the product on the field is not as good as it once was. When you have penalties being assessed against defensive players for merely tackling a receiver who is intending to catch the ball, but doesn’t catch it. That penalty is mistakenly called for unnecessary roughness at times. That affects how aggressive the defense is playing. So the end product no longer looks like football but rather FLAG football.

    Oh and we can perhaps blame NBC for their wonderful coverage of the premier league. Yeah, it’s soccer, some of you don’t like it, but a lot of us do. And their product is better IMO. So if you have a limited time to watch sports, maybe you’re watching soccer instead… and there’s no commercials during the games!

  129. Kaepernick using the NFL to make political statements sucks!!!

    I dvr the games I want to watch and fast forward through all the CRAP.

    My remote is the Trump card.😡

  130. Poor prime time match ups combined with cord cutters. This will be my last year with Sunday Ticket as I’m cutting the cord next year and getting NFL Game Pass. TV in general is on it’s last leg. Cable and Satellite companies are the next Blockbuster video.

    A lot of teams are actually up ratings wise for their local market, proving it’s not people boycotting the games that is having any kind of significant impact.

  131. LOL!

    1952 players in the NFL and some say they will not watch because of the actions of one guys peaceful protest.

    I’d suggest that those people do not understand nor love the freedoms that claim to love so much. They prefer a dictatorship where everyone is forced to act and think the exact same way they themselves act.

    I love freedom except when people openly express their freedom that differs from my own perspective! LOL!

    When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.

    -George Carlin.

  132. Is this really just a trend for this year? If so, it hardly seems valid. The season is 3 weeks old. Week 1 had an unusually craptastic lineup of games.

    That said, viewing habits DO change. If demographics and technology pushed viewers toward the NFL in the ’90s and ’00s, they can also draw viewers away. TV Viewership overall is down. Why would the NFL be immune to this?

    As for the Kaerpernick effect…doubt it. Hard to picture someone saying, “Hey the backup QB in SF isn’t standing at attention for the national anthem, which isn’t televised anyway, so I’m not going to watch the Lions/Packers game.”

  133. well its easy….

    people “customer A” has interest in “product A” (NFL)
    company behind “product A” likes the taste of money
    and tries to find additional ways to sell similar products
    or products connected with product A

    feeds the people the product they want and then some
    to a point they dont want it no more

    stop producing stuff like nfl fashion police
    sun sentinel down in miami even does play by play training reports during camp…. its so overcovered.
    i totally get beastmode, and why he reacted the way he did to the media

    ps: to the dude with the muslim comment, youre pretty light on brain. ever asked yourself what the people on the otherside think? its in human nature that every side thinks theyre the good guys and fight for the right side & thing. you should talk to actual soldiers once in a while

  134. Nice OPED Mike. I would love to see the survey data the NFL has or will accumulate about the issue. I expect the problem to correct itself (unless this represents a sure enough market correction) when the weather changes and we are all forced inside more.

    For me, my state has outlawed Fanduel and all the other money games. I have quit watching any games other than my home team’s games because of that. I am not even playing Fantasy this year first 1st time in 12 years.

    I also hate the officiating. I get exposed to enough bad officiating in my home team’s games.

  135. There are so many reasons for this and I think they are all converging at or near the same time.

    The Commissioner’s actions and maybe more important, inaction’s. If he utters “for the integrity of the shield” once more he may be beheaded by that shield.

    The officiating is horribly inconsistent.

    The over inflated prices both at the games and for packages at home.

    And distractions. People watch sports for entertainment, to have “a team” and be part of that fan base. When politics shows up in the diversion, people find a new diversion.

    One sided diversions. When players are allowed protest but others are not allowed honor. It creates more divides within the diversion.

    The shield is tarnished and people are tired of looking at it!

  136. Thoughts:

    Are the ratings for the Red Zone channel up or down?

    I ask, because that channel doesn’t have any commercials. It also mostly shows teams that are in the red zone, going from game to game. If the ratings for that network are down, then there is something more going on than the over abundance of commercials, delays due to challenge flags, etc. etc.

    The Red Zone channel was one of the worst thing invented, because it gives a just the facts maam approach to the game. You don’t get to see the game flow, you don’t get see the true beauty of the game. It is great for fantasy football, but not so much if you are a fan of one particular team.

    We also live in an instant gratification culture that has greatly affected baseball viewership, so it shouldn’t be any surprise if it affects football viewership. Many young folks don’t want to sit through all of the in game delays, as well as the long frequent commercial breaks.

    I also think one of the problems could be the lack of league parity. When is the last time anyone in the AFC East was relevant other than the Patriots? Sure, if you love the Patriots things are great, but if you are a fan of other teams, then not so much.

    As skinny bundles become more and more available, sports becomes less relevant. After all, sports programming is a huge part of a cable bill. How many cable subscribers are paying for sports when they don’t want it? I know when it becomes available for my local cable system, I will be dropping ESPN ASAP.

    That is also why cord cutting is becoming more and more popular, people don’t want to pay for what they don’t watch.

  137. Blaming the TV decline on Keap would be like saying I’m going to stop going to PFT because a commenter once disagreed with me.

    I’d suggest the decline is because peoples attention spans are too short and they can only focus on their current outrage while trying to manage arguments across twitter, Facebook and snap chat. That has to be time consuming. Especially when you can’t manage your own emotions.

  138. so we have a league in which players have killed people, raped them beat their wives driven drunk shot themselves in the chest due to their brains being broken and it is a back up qb taking a knee during the anthem that is the reason non one is watching. IF this is true it says a lot more about the people watching football than it does about the guy taking the knee.

  139. Scale back international games to one a year in UK, eliminate the Thursday game experiment (it failed), EVERY penalty subject to more than one game penalty or $50K fine subject to neutral third party arbitration (to re-establish a sense of fairness after the fiascos of BountyGate and DeflateGate), cut the NFL Commissioner’s salary by 80%, and difference goes to concussion awards and research. Oh yes– and fire Goodell. He is one of the two most despised fat self-obsessed men with orange hair in America today.

  140. The NFL should read this comment section, and take it more seriously than many of the tools that comment here are doing. My two cents, from a 45-year old with Sunday Ticket and has been to over 200 live games and has been an Eagles fan as long as I can remember being alive.

    1 – Kaepernick, etc – I don’t want to watch a pregame show where half of it is about him and others sitting, kneeling, raising fists, etc., and the talk of social justice. I don’t care. I want information for fantasy football and gambling. I don’t want to see Malcolm Jenkins make a nice play on defense to then immediately hear about his pre-game fist-raising by Jim Nantz. The anthem is rarely televised and now they want to put it on so we can see who is kneeling, etc. No thanks.

    2 – Tom Brady – Goodell railroaded him, plain and simple. Spent millions to get him suspended for 4 games. For what? Kommissar Goodell was exercising raw power. Sure, there are plenty of people that see Brady, good-looking married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, a women that makes double what he does, and are jealous and want to see him kicked around. Only those people don’t care about what he did. Anyone with a sense of fundamental fairness are appalled by what Goodell did. And let’s not forget the difference in treatment Saint Peyton got and whole all of his stuff was swept right under the rug. I guarantee you they waited for him to retire in order to go after the others in the al-Jazeera report, only to see those guys lawyers tell them that they will drag Peyton and his wife right into it. I have no doubt that is why Goodell didn’t exercise the saw raw power.

    3 – The Saints – Goodell railroaded them too

    4 – Pink this and that and other pandering while enforcing strict dress codes hypocritically. I am a cancer survivor and don’t mind one game a year where pink is prominent. However, a whole month? Just stop with political correctness.

  141. The player protests have turned people off.

    It’s essentially players with millions of dollars trying to guilt other people into solving problems they’re too lazy and cheap work on themselves.

    They want YOU to fix the issue and to spend YOUR money but they’ll not do anything themselves, except take a knee.

  142. Adding a full slate of Thursday games has diluted the product a bit. Too bad that package is bought and paid for for the next few years. Over promotion of Sunday nite games don’t help. Once you’ve told your fans that Sunday is the Best game of the week it doesn’t build momentum for Monday nite football very much.

  143. Apparently, we all stopped watching to have more time to comment here all the time, judging by the traffic.

    I quit watching because I decided the concussion crisis is here for good and that the sport is too violent, too brutal. I cannot stop caring, hard as I try, but I can stop watching.

    Also, I can’t say I miss the fairly inane chatter of the standard NFL TV broadcast. That didn’t drive me away, but it doesn’t help when 75% of the play by play men and even more of the color men at best add little and at worst make you want to scream. I would rather listen to Jets radio man Bob Wischusen than anyone else. And I’m a Giants fan.

  144. Humans don’t like change.

    Protesting the anthem, change the kickoffs and extra points, your team has new uniforms and team colors every other week, players you root for move to another team in free agency, teams moving to different cities, stories about our hero’s replaced with Ray Rice/Adrian Peterson/Colin Kaepernick off field incidents.

    Ask NASCAR how change has worked out for them.

  145. Overall wussification. Flags on every play. And now it’s October and I get to my team in their traditional hot pink socks.

  146. Too much self promotion from the players.
    Too many “me first” players.
    Too much Roger Godall.
    Too much Tom Brady.
    And way too much Jerky Jones.

  147. I am not watching any game in which ALL team personnel are not respecting the anthem by STANDING. First time in over 45 years I’m not spending Sunday afternoon glued to the TV watching the NFL.

  148. Hopefully this is just the first domino to fall and this ends with Goodell getting fired within the next few years.

    The owners have put up with him doing a horrible job for one reason only…MONEY.

    They can’t band together enough support to can the guy when profits are at an all time high and ratings are through the roof.

    If ratings continue to dip, the next TV deal won’t be as lucrative for the greedy owners. The second they feel like Goodell is costing them a nickel, they’ll fire him and get a “fresh face” in there.

  149. The Liberals ruined the country and football too. People are tired of it.

    You can down-arrow if you want, but Trump being a viable candidate and many people tuning out of NFL due to protests and associated commentary both show I am correct.

  150. Well, some of the simply awful broadcasters on feature games would be a starting point.

    “Wow, he looked just like Tom Brady on that play!”

    “Ugh, interceptions in the end zone will really hurt you.”

    Don’t get me started with the ‘sideline reporter’ and their valuable contribution to the quality of the broadcast either…

  151. Many games are not enjoyable. The equality of play is awful in too many games. Rams win a game with no touchdowns..???

    The “historical” teams are really really bad and I now have five soccer networks on my cable provider..

    The NFL might be fighting a demographic shift it cannot win.

    Not to mention, Viewership for TV in general is in the tank

  152. Seems like MORE Commercials then actual game. The lack of entertainment. Who’s brilliant idea was it to take away celebrations? Don’t give me this crap about players safety, if you don’t wanna get hurt DON”T play. Bring the hard hitting back.

  153. Americans are mobile. They want to watch the team they follow – NOT the one forced on them by their “local market”. Find a way to get any game online for about $5 per game or less and you’ll RAISE viewership and revenues by millions/week!

  154. It’s not hard to figure out. Flag protest, way too many rules, way too many penalties

  155. According to the polls, most people believed Brady tampered with footballs. Plus Brady doesn’t appeal to middle America very much. He comes off as a holier than thou, elitist who thinks giving kids soda is poisoning them. Not many Americans care for Brady that much outside of Boston and Hollywood.

  156. People have stopped watching because it no longer a sport, its entertainment. Its obvious that the games are slanted if not out right rigged, and that the refs are incompetent if not out right bribed. Might was well watch a WWE contest.

  157. factschecker says:
    Sep 29, 2016 3:37 PM
    LOL!

    1952 players in the NFL and some say they will not watch because of the actions of one guys peaceful protest.

    I’d suggest that those people do not understand nor love the freedoms that claim to love so much. They prefer a dictatorship where everyone is forced to act and think the exact same way they themselves act.

    =========================================
    No one is saying that Kaepernick doesn’t have the RIGHT to do what he’s doing. Of course he has the right to not stand during the national anthem.

    What you don’t understand or appreciate is that we have the right to dislike his actions, and turn off the TV because of those actions. Actions have consequences, and one of those consequences is showing up in the ratings.

    If you are going to applaud Kaepernick for exercising his freedoms, it is hypocritical to turn around and rip the fans who don’t like what he’s doing for exercising their freedoms.

  158. Ratings are down because it’s bad TV. The broadcasts are utterly unbearable. Before the game you get a bunch of sock puppets yacking. I can’t watch that at all. Before the game but on the field you get a bunch of blathering from sideline reporters who do a bunch of completely nothing interviews.

    Once the game starts, you have commercials every 18 seconds it seems. My favorite sequence is touchdown, extra point, commercial, kickoff which is usually a touchback, commercial and then a play or two before the end of the quarter and more commercials. It’s insufferable.

    Bad TV gets bad ratings, and right now this is bad TV.

  159. It’s not the product AT ALL. It’s the vehicle, pure and simple. I wouldn’t blame the youth on dependence on phones, but the amount of content that is streamed makes cord cutting a very viable thing.

    I’ve been without traditional TV for close to two years. I can see most of what I want streamed. And since I can see my games later in the day and then archived for years after, Sunday Ticket is not the must have it used to be. Times have changed and the NFL needs to freely offer games without a provider contract…

  160. It’s an easy explanation for the NFL, and they have to know it, but are trying to figure out what to do about it.

    The owner’s golden boy has to go.

    He coined the phrase ‘Protect the Shield’ and yet has become the very reason I stopped watching NFL games on tv. Without going into specific events that have led me to this (you all know them all), in my view he has done the opposite as a whole.

    He is why I refuse to pay another penny toward the money grab that is the NFL. Made the commitment last year and have stuck with it. I’ll get my news online or in articles.

    We, the fans, help finance every stadium. Yet we have no part in the profits, despite funding it through our own salary taxes. No benefits unless you consider the fact that now that we’ve ponied up $500m for a new stadium, we now get the chance to spend an insane amount of money to also attend the game. NFL has out priced itself from the common man’s budget. Can anyone take in a game nowadays with their two sons for under $250?

    Direct TV packages?? What a joke. The price to get the games on tv is for the privileged. The price to take your sons to a game is out of most father’s budget.

    The unchallenged, unbridled ‘iron fist’ that Goodell runs the game by is unfortunate. He has made an art out of walking through the grey areas of the CBA and applying things to his advantage wherever he sees fit. It is my hope that the players do hold out and force a better option with the discipline process, such as getting a different jury other than the very judge that placed them in the spot. Goodell might be respected and even appreciated by the owners, but once they see this trend continue, they will begin scrambling. For Goodell to go, it’s going to take more than just a few fans making a stand.

    I still enjoy the game, how can I not? But I’ve learned to enjoy it without padding this cartel’s pocket any longer.

    We all know what the definition of insanity is. So why do we keep going forward as we have and continue to expect different results? The game is getting away from the ability of the common man to enjoy it. Keep padding those pockets, buy that jersey, buy that ticket, buy that cable subscription and the trend will only continue to spiral in the way it has the last 10 years. NFL has to be aware of the fact that this bubble is way overdue for a burst.

    My entire family is on this bandwagon. We were season ticket holders up to last year. We had the Direct TV package every year since it started. None anymore, and yet haven’t lost any of my passion for the game and my team. In fact, I might be enjoying this season even more since I no longer feel chained to a sport that is a money-pit for the average fan.

    Goodell has changed the game forever. Some for the better, some for the worse. The fact the players, respected veterans in this league, openly shame him with comments should be enough. It’s time the owners made the change and salvaged the reputation of the shield.

  161. The NFL has a lot of problems… but the main reason here is that the medium (TV) is dying. Netflix, HBO streaming and others are eating broadcast TV’s lunch.

    …Add in politics, loss of superstars, tons of injuries, long games, tons of replays/challenges, ineptitude from Roger Goodell, horrible commentary, excessive pre-game/post-game shows, the TMZ’ification of ESPN, unnecessary and frequent rule changes — and you’ll get smaller numbers.

    The NFL will never recover from this. They will not hit a new high again. The hay day of broadcast TV is over.

  162. I’m a cord cutter, yet every August I get a cable box just so I can watch the NFL. That’s it, that is all I watch on regular TV. However, as a result of the disproportionately draconian and unprecedented sanctions handed down for Spygate and then Deflategate, I refuse to watch anything other than Patriots games.

    I love the Patriots and absolutely loathe the NFL.

    When the Patriots won the Super Bowl I wanted to buy some merchandise to celebrate the fact, but I refused to buy anything from the NFL, so I bought a hoodie from the Belichick Foundation. When Belichick retires, I will probably stop watching the NFL altogether, unless Goodell gets fired and someone with even a bare modicum of intelligence is hired in his place.

    I can put up with all the other annoyances, commercials, flags, anthem kneeling, annoying pop stars in the SB, the Jets, fans of the Jets, etc., but I refuse to watch any NFL game that does not feature the Pats until Goodell is gone for good.

  163. Kaepernick kneeling is just the latest non-football issue that is being crammed down NFL fans throats. Once this settles down it will be something else. Lets talk about anything but football.

  164. When we were kids, players were the stuff of legend. Football players were heroes, warriors, men among men. Now, just like everything else, the product is watered down and everything is politicized & commercialized.

    The cover boy of your league is suspended with his bare ass hanging out in Italy. Your league’s commissioner is reveling having suspended his superstar. The 2 men went head-to-head, toe-to-toe, with allegations of cheating, unrelenting ego, playing the court systems — all while displaying a complete lack of humility.

    It was ugly and it still is. Add CTE, a weak stance on domestic violence, rules that have resulted in a boring WCO passsing league, Thursday Night Football, and so on…

    And QBs who are more interested in their BRAND then their team. “TB12”, RGIII trademarking his name… it looks greedy and it’s hard for common people to relate to.

  165. That is also why cord cutting is becoming more and more popular, people don’t want to pay for what they don’t watch.

    ***

    All the games in your local area are available on broadcast TV. You don’t need to pay for it.

  166. I find it compelling that almost all of the potential reasons stated in the article existed last year, including ‘those consarn young’uns on their new fandledy boxes’ but we are seeing a notable decline from last year’s numbers. It seems pretty obvious the focus should be developments in that time frame. As stated above the protest backlash is obviously a factor, no matter how difficult some folks may find that to believe. The framegate and rule tinkering backlash is not getting the attention it should, never mind the abuse of power aimed at the AJ 4 and the arbitrary and capricious nature of punishments. The attempted theft of $110M from the shared funds pool may have disappeared from the media’s consciousness but most fans haven’t forgotten it. People simply do not trust the league office and as a result the integrity of game results, not ‘the shield’, is also subject to question. Catch rules, officials conferencing on every flag and replay rulings that defy the visual evidence are no small thing. For any sport fans doubting the validity of game results and believing the league tilts the playing field is a serious wound, for a game as dependent as the NFL on officiating the wound could prove fatal.

    Left out entirely from the issues the article mentions is the overweening arrogance of the owners in displaying their greed in the stadium discussions of the past year. While not enough of an issue on it’s own to have a huge impact it is certainly another nail in the coffin and outstanding exemplar of the owner’s tone deaf approach.

  167. Drop the Thursday night games. They stink.

    There is no flow because of the commercial breaks after each punt, score, kickoff, and replay challenge.

    Too many teams. Thirty years ago, even the bad teams had players worth watching. Now there are weekends where you have to search for just one good matchup. It’s possible we are starting to see good athletes go into other sports. Dissolve Jacksonville and one other team (Chargers, Saints, Bills, Titans). One of them has to go.

  168. The game peaked when Big Ben threw that toe-tapper to win the super bowl with no time left on the clock.

    The decline hastened with the Thursday night games and the color rush uniforms. The naked money grabs are becoming embarrassing, and the league doesn’t see it.

    Now the the viewership will go down as fast as the NFL tries to expand, to 18-game season, another round of playoffs, games in China, etc.

    They don’t understand that it’s a vicious cycle – as viewership goes down, they try to expand internationally, driving viewership down. Nobody wants to watch international games. No emotion from the crowd, just a bunch of bored confused people sitting on their hands thinking they just paid way to much money for this.

  169. I personally checked the Nielsen ratings and the only team that consistently scored in the top 3 was the Dallas Cowboys. Go to sports media watch and check out the pattern. The NFC East by extension have bigger numbers as well as the top division.

  170. My reasons for not being a rabbid fan any longer are: too many overlapping rules (what’s a catch, etc.) you almost have to be a lawyer nowadays to navigate the rules and how they are interpreted. The league office can now call down to the refs to change a call which is highly suspect. Pregame shows are too “glossy” for me and the “analysis” is something I can do without, peddling gambling to kids is a big turn off (which undermines the team concept anyways), Goodell’s witch hunts, over the years have undermined the integrity of the game for me. The rules regarding instant replay leads to suspicion. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if SB’s were bought and sold to the highest bidder.

  171. “factschecker says:
    Sep 29, 2016 3:37 PM
    LOL!

    1952 players in the NFL and some say they will not watch because of the actions of one guys peaceful protest.

    I’d suggest that those people do not understand nor love the freedoms that claim to love so much. They prefer a dictatorship where everyone is forced to act and think the exact same way they themselves act…blah, blah, blah”

    Uh, those who choose not to watch are expressing their freedoms as well, goof.

  172. BTW – the dictatorship part of it doesn’t come in with how I choose to react to someone’s opinion. The dictatorship part of it comes in when I’m not allowed to react to someone else’s opinion.

  173. For one thing, there are too many teams. Too many teams means too many bad and mediocre teams, which means too many uninteresting games. Life is too short to watch Jacksonville play Tennessee, for example.

  174. I stopped watching as much because I’m tired of the NFL letting the Patriots continue to cheat and get dumb wrist slaps like the Deflategate scandal. Why is Belichick still allowed to coach in this league? He should have gotten the Pete Rose treatment after Spygate. Also, tired of athletes and their “political statements.”

  175. Some are suggesting that the anthem protests are causing fans to boycott the NFL, but it’s hard to see a connection ”

    Stop right there.

    That’s exactly it, the disrespecting of the flag and anthem (and doesn’t matter if it is unintended, it’s still disrespect).

    The crowd that refuses to believe this is the crowd that supports it, leading to their refusal to believe what is just a simple truth.

    That’s what an open mind does, understands simple truths, especially when it is not in line with one’s own belief.

  176. “Meanwhile, viewing habits have changed, dramatically. The younger generation no longer congregates around a large box; they carry small ones everywhere they go, constantly staring at them like zombies peering in to a sardine can full of brains. Many members of Generation Z don’t feel compelled to take the time to witness the flow of a game, the shifts in momentum, the nuances that set the stage for game-changing moments in the fourth quarter. They just want the highlights and the stats, so that they can see how their favorite team and, perhaps more importantly, their fantasy team performed.”

    That’s it right there, plain and simple – and it isn’t going to get better. However, it doesn’t extend only to “Generation Z,” it extends to all of us. I can’t tell you the last time I watched a full football game on TV, and I’m a huge fan and in my 50’s. 20 years ago, 10 years ago, I’d watch full games all the time. Why not now – what’s changed? I don’t need to. I can check the score online, check highlights, get my info in a second’s time and keep up with the game without sitting in front of my TV for 3-plus hours.

    There isn’t a good fix for this for the NFL, it’s just the way technology is morphing how we watch, and the technology needle almost always swings into the land of diminishing returns for someone – and the NFL is now on the bad side of it with TV.

    Everything else is a minor factor.

  177. Way too many commercials. NFL & Media partners got greedy by now having commercials in between touchdown and kickoff.

    Take a page from soccer and drastically reduce the amount of commercials.

    I can tolerate some, but now way too many to bother watching unless it is a big game.

  178. Red Zone………7 and a half hours of commercial free football. Super Bowls gifted by officials in conference championships and the Super Bowl who when officiating a certain team from colorado, said team is undefeated in a dozen games. If it looks, smells and acts shady, well, it is. Holding calls, illegal contact, 2 rules that can be called on every single play called at critical junctures. Games on too many days. I actually forgot the Miami/Cinn game and when I stumbled upon it I figured the Bengals were wearing orange. Of course not. Rules that are uninterpretable apparently done so on purpose for the sake of twisting them to achieve the desired results. See, people want a fair sporting event. The NFL has done everything in it’s power to give the appearance that the opposite is true. When a bad call is evident and upheld one can only assume the worst. I’m a fan of the NFL for 50+ years. I really feel I will soon be saying I WAS a fan! Wake up Goodell. Wake up ownership! You’re killing the golden goose and we all see while you guys count your money.

  179. One question. I’m too lazy to look it up but I am curious. Are college football ratings dropping too? How about those high school games ESPN runs? Are there any Pop Warner games televised and if not, why not?! Maybe there should be a network devoted to the sandlot game of the week. Is it the NFL or the game itself that’s in danger of fading away?

  180. Goodell politicized the sport himself, turned himself into a fascist dictator, and then let players use the national anthem as a protest. Sports was my refuge from this crap, now football is gone. I am watching less because I am sick of this fascist bullcrap. I don’t care, and I don’t want to know the politics of an athlete. Hollywood, pay attention. This is also why movie attendance is tanking. Too many Marxist entertainers. I choose to withhold my money from them.

  181. Another thought about the NFLs insistence on embracing the wrong things the wrong way…

    Tomorrow we enter October so it is “Pink” month in the NFL to raise awareness to Breast Cancer. The players look like fools and the un-uniform use of pink highlights is distracting.

    People are plenty “aware” of breast Cancer so the NFL going Pink is a copout. Time for the Billionaires to take their massive TAX EXEMPT earnings and write some damn checks. The awareness does not pay for a tiny bit of research.

  182. 1) Rule changes
    2) Inconsistency in officiating games
    3) Color rush uniforms
    4) Too commercial
    5) Politics (protests, offensive team names, etc)
    6) Same teams are on national TV
    7) Goodell

  183. I’ve been a die-hard fan for 20+ years. All of the rule changes, concussion concerns, and the Gooddell dictatorship over the years has never caused myself or anyone I know to stop tuning in to the games.

    However, this year, I personally know at least 6-7 people (I’m not one of them, just to be clear) who are truly boycotting the games because of the players decisions to kneel/protest during the national anthem, and they all say they won’t return unless and until the NFL does something about it. It looks like there’s finally an issue that is alienating a large chunk of the core demographic of NFL fans.

  184. It’s remarkable how libs just don’t get it. Target blamed their sales being down on Apple, because you know people weren’t buy new iPhones during the summer, you know because people always buy new iPhones right before new ones come out. No it had nothing to do with men in dresses using the women’s bathroom, it had nothing to do with them making gender neutral kids section, nope, it was Apple’s fault.

    As for the NFL, yeah, it’s clearly because people uh, it’s because people care about concussions, yeah, that’s why they’re not watching. Certainly it has nothing to do with everything they turn on sports to watch recaps or hype for the games they get to hear about race relations and why white people are the devil and about how BLM is important and should be celebrated as BLM members are out killing cops. No, it’s Goodell that is making people not watch, you know because people, uh, you know. Right, you know?

  185. Boy, I hope PFT was commissioned by the Commissar himself to figure out what’s wrong.

    …Goodell is so, well, Goodell, that he probably STILL won’t get it.

    FIRE GOODELL!

  186. I stopped watching but not because I wanted to. We decided to cut the cord on cable and there simply are no good ways to watch the NFL that are good. The Sunday package? I cut Direct TV because it was too expensive. The Sunday Package is still too expensive and now without DirectTV, I can’t even record it and watch it when I want, so not going to spend the same amount and lose convenience. You have to be there to see the game and I’m not always available. I have Game Pass, but you can’t watch live and after the fact, it’s just not as interesting. I do like the ability to watch whenever I want, but I find I don;t go back and watch them as much as I’d like.

    They’ve just boxed themselves into a corner with trying to milk every penny out of every endeavor. people tire of it.

  187. Belichick cheated for years, never missed a game. Sean Payton, who has never been in a defensive meeting in his life, gets one year. Marcia cheats and the Media helps defend him. People are fed up with the whining and the cheaters continuing to prosper. Oh, and maybe all the rule changes that favor the offense – this has turned into “who has the ball last” way too many times over the past 5 or 6 years.

  188. The biggest problem is simply POLITICS. Has no place at football games. And for a league that fines players for wearing non-league authorized headbands, you would think they’d clamp down quickly on any player political gestures. wake up, Mr. Goodell. you’re losing your audience.

  189. Instant Replay needs to be done like college football for flow, and for fairness. Too many BS calls or missed calls. College replay style would take care of everything, but NFL doesn’t want to give up its prime method of influencing the outcome of games.

  190. I think overexposure has a lot do with it. With every game available on TV or Internet(especially if you’re willing to pay to watch), people are tending more to pick and choose which games they want to watch, rather than watch whatever game is televised into their area. The viewer wants to make the choice what to watch, not let the networks make the choice for them.

  191. This line is hilarious: Some would say the election is a factor, but if anything the political consternation should be causing people to more fervently embrace their diversions.

    The viewing public can’t when millionaire brats are using the national anthem to push THEIR political viewpoint, and sites like this make sure it’s discussed constantly.

  192. 1) The kickoff used to be an exciting part of the game. NOW its a waste of time

    2) The game has gone soft. You cant hit a QB above the name plate, you can grab the nameplate, you cant hit at or near the QBs knees. You cant hit them in a manner where your head would slide an make contact to the knees or upper chest.

    Unless you are the broncos… then by all means headshots all day.

    3) Defenses and the run game have been neutered. You cant touch a receiver until the ball is securely is caught and tucked away. If you are able to hit them after its tucked away and they are running…. its an incomplete pass. With these advantages, why even attempt to run?

  193. And I want to put Goodell on that list. Arbitrary fines and punishments… just make fans angry, and they turn off games.

    Flags followed by fines for legal but rough hits have happened plenty of times. Now they are fining players for celebrating. Come on already.

  194. NFL Redzone? I know a lot of people who don’t even tune into invidual games, they just watch Red Zone all afternoon.

    And oh yeah Goodell’s penalty fest, watered down football has made the games tedious in many instances.

  195. the NFL needs to pay the boss thirty million a year to figure out what happens when you combo many truly dull games, goofy political acts, and too much off the field mgmt. noise?

  196. Well it’s mostly due to politics. I’ve heard a bunch of people say they’re sick of the protests. There’s even an entire NFL boycott going on right now due to it.

    Most people watch football so they can escape from things like politics. When you insert politics into football, a lot of people are simply going to find something else to do.

  197. Just because viewership is down, does not mean that football is losing popularity. However, that being said, the NFL was forced to deal with and punish the New England Patriots for game altering cheating twice within 10 years. Spygate, had the commissioner fully investigated and published the findings, it would have shook the very foundations of the NFL. He moved heaven and earth to downplay Spygate and keep it away from a congressional investigation. How do you think Bill Belichick would have held up? What about Ernie Anderson? How would the Pats qb’s respond about having a live feed to their helmets? And their staff, steal the visitors playsheets? Goodell saved the NFL from the reality of Spygate.

  198. The NFL peaked in 2009.

    1979: #1 baseball #2 tennis #3 boxing NFL was an after thought.

    Everything changes

  199. Or is it 3 hours of commercials, and 15 minutes of play. The NFL is boring to watch. Tom Brady sneezed, let’s take a commercial break. .

  200. zombies peering in to a sardine can full of brains.

    Mmmm. I love sardines, especially the fancy kind in the red cellophane packaging. I eat about 25 cans of sardines per year. But I’ve never seen brains in a can of sardines, and I certainly have never seen anyone staring into a can of sardines. So, without knowing the origin of this metaphor, I don’t get it.

    As far as football – I haven’t watched a game yet this year for any and all the reasons mentioned by the author and the commenters – goodell, the ungrateful tattoo freak and his followers who remind me of Aaron Hernandez, etc. But most of all, because it seems to be losing its credibility. There’s a big stink associated with the NFL and it begins with goodell.

  201. Even for the game in London, These misguided USA protesters have to take a knee, The NFL sucks. The media zooms in on them far too often. The military should quit doing flyovers in protest.

  202. I think the identifiable issues have been named. Most simply, oversaturation for won’t of a better description. What has gone largely unmentioned, perhaps because we love the notion of direct and simplistic causality, is that at a certain point in any kind of ascent, declining becomes more probable than continued ascent. We can talk about fractured media markets, younger fans with more diffuse interests, so forth, but most simply, when something becomes sufficiently popular (and the NFL in this country seems to be there or close thereto), it is much easier to lose fans than gain them. So it goes. The cycle of life. In a country whose economic policicies are based on a premise of infinite growth, it is no wonder that natural cyclical decline might be overlooked as a primary ’cause.’

  203. The NFL Network-ification of the sport is killing it.

    It’s a 24/7/365 industry now. The talk shows have morphed into ex-players talking fantasy rosters with babes who look like super models (but just “one of the guys”), horsing around in awkward scripted 10 minute segments built around commercial breaks.

    The result is too flashy and noisy. It doesn’t match the gritty drama of actual football.

    Perhaps I’m a dinosaur but I think columns like John Clayton’s “1st and 10” were must-read preps for the weekend. Matchups, rivalries, how the divisions were shaping up…

    The half-time shows used to discuss all the games, not just the scoring in the day’s top game. And it was great to wrap the day up with NFL Countdown, when Chris Berman and Tom Jackson were happening. It made THE GAMES exciting.

    Now, Countdown has 6 (or more?) people at the desk, the CBS and FOX shows are just non-stop hilarity, and NFL Network is more focused on what’s trending on Twitter.

    (I should say, PFT has more or less remained excellent.. except for Florio’s penchant for stirring the political pot whenever he can. I’ve been reading since ~2002.)

    Maybe the broadcasters will find that sweet spot where they promote the actual product, maybe they don’t. But I suspect this is one of many reasons people are tuning the games out.

    Also, Goodell sucks.

  204. Just the first half of Detroit at Chicago should provide a complete rationale for the down viewership. When the 1st half interview of Lady GaGa is better than the first 30 minutes of football was you know you’ve got issues.

  205. There is way too much politics in the NFL now. We watch to root for our teams and escape the daily political garbage we have to put up with.
    You start bringing politics into a game we all love, then we turn it off to find another escape. It’s quite sad

  206. The Pro Hall of Fame selection process is a joke. Definitely play favorites. You have players like Aeneus Williams and Derrick Brooks in there, but no Eric Allen or Seth Joyner, who have better numbers. Fixed. Plus Jerome Bettie and Curtis Martin? They’re not Hall of Famers, just media darlings.

  207. Inability to watch my team without buying into a disgusting monopoly that I want no part of.

    Without DirecTV, or a trip to a bar that has DirecTV, I am unable to watch the team I follow regularly, because I don’t live in their market.

    That’s asinine. If the league / anyone involved in this were finding a way to expand the concept of Sunday Ticket to other media providers, I bet you any amount of money the number of subscriptions would go up if people had more options to entry.

    I often watch whatever game(s) are on, solely because it’s football, and it’s the only sport I actually follow. But there are increasingly times where I have other commitments during football time, and because I can’t watch the Dolphins from where I live most of the time, why should I bother making a day out of watching a crappy game with teams I just don’t care about? What’s my motivation?

    Heck, right now, the Steelers / Chiefs game. Should have been a good competitive game, on paper. Instead, it’s a laugher, and was so before halftime.

    It’s part NFL greed, it’s part product that isn’t as good.

    Give me a reason to watch every week, and I will. Make it difficult, and unfortunately, I’m going to bend over backwards only so far.

  208. This literally happened in a game yesterday

    Running play
    2 minute warning
    (commercial)
    score
    (review – commercial)
    Extra point
    (commercial)
    kickoff
    (commercial)

  209. Parity isn’t real. Super Bowl winners are predictable while other teams cannot break through the ceiling year after year. Powerful owners in the NFL get the calls they need to stay on top.

  210. Kaepernick is the symbol of the reason. Majority of people are tired of the press and celebrities telling us how we should feel. We turn on football to be entertained not lectured that we should feel bad about being an American. The BLM movement is not something most Americans believe in, we realize it is based on lies and distorted truths. And the hypocrisy of Goodell fining players for supporting the policemen but too gutless to do anything about what is going on right now has pushed us over the limit.

  211. 1. Too many flags for Excessive Celebration. Ridiculous….and if a player does it twice they’re out of the game?

    2. Too many idiots, showing that they are idiots. Intentional horsecollars, facemasks, head hunting, pushing the punter to the ground 3 seconds after the punt. There are too many times during a game that I shake my head at stupidity of some of these players. Major turnoff.

    3. The quality of Thurs Night Football is horrible. Why not Saturday Night Football? At least teams would be better prepared and players more rested.

    4. Too many PI/Def Holding calls. Then, the ones that are obvious, they miss. Let teams review the penalties or challenge non-calls.

  212. What is really wrong with the NFL is the unreal money. Teams like the 49’ers and the Bears can have really bad ownership for years and it does not matter for their bottom line. Harbaugh is sitting pretty at Michigan and the 49’ers truly stink. Lovie, Trestman, Marshall, Forte, Bennett, and Gould are long gone and the Bears are not one bit better. Who won those battles?

  213. Goodell has ruined NFL football for the fans. He should be removed . I don’t like that games are fixed and referees are making calls to sway advantages.

  214. You gotta whack millennials, don’t you?

    You want to know why I’ve watched less football the past few years? Because I moved out of market, and then lived in many places where I couldn’t get DirecTV for Sunday ticket (apartments or landlords that wouldn’t allow it), and now that I have my own place I don’t want to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars for 3 hours of content a week.

    The NFL has the technology to stream games. I’ve heard that fans in Canada and Europe get better quality on NFL Gamepass than people using Sunday Ticket. Twitter is carrying Thursday night games. Preseason is streamed live in the US for Gamepass holders.

    Make a reasonably priced offer to stream games. You’ll make money on the advertising alone.

  215. “We welcome you back from commercials for the kickoff to this great game!”

    “Annnnnnnd it’s a touchback!”

    “We’ll see you back again in 6 minutes after these short commercials!”
    ************************************************
    …and don’t forget to cue up 15 Ford commercials, 37 beer commercials, 45 mobile phone commercials and promos for every upcoming show for the new season…all within a 3 hour window. Remember, whistle to whistle, the game is about 11 minutes long!

  216. I want to watch football, not that Tennessee car dealer! I think I’m starting to know him more than his own wife!

    And I don’t care about which 25 gallons/mile truck was voted the best 10 years in a row! Even if they are hidden behind a mysterious door!

  217. crappygovernment says:
    Sep 29, 2016 1:43 PM
    Self-respecting Christians can’t watch anymore after the NFL railroaded Tebow out for his proselytizing Christianity!

    _______________________________________-

    this is so flat out wrong, that if you read anything, you’d know it. TEBOW himself told people that he was offered a position with a few different teams, JUST NOT AT QB!!!

    nothing to do with his Christianity, he just cannot play QB. that is all.

  218. I can tell you why I watch less football (and I consider myself a big fan). First of all, The NFL RedZone gives me everything I really love. Second, I watched all the time when games were Sunday 1&4PM and Monday Night Football. Getting me to watch Sunday at 9:30am, 1pm, 4pm and 8pm, Monday at 7pm and 10pm, Thursday at 8pm is simply to much to ask of me. I have more to my life than than JUST football. Third, I have to admit, there is a subconscious Goodell factor. Fourth, what in the world ever happened to the best referees in all of sports? If the rules are going to get more complicated then add more referees to enforce them (although my vote is go back to simplified rules). I don’t like watching a game where I have been cheated by the refs (don’t end up like MLB). Lastly, not enough great coaches and quarterbacks. Every crap coach that gets fired ends up just coaching another team (can you say Rex Ryan). And every crap QB just keep playing year after year because college football can’t seem to produce a replacement anymore.

  219. 1. Criminals in uniforms. 2. Way too many penalties (see Point 1). 3. Horrible officiating. 4. Too many lengthy reviews (see Point 3).

    The NFL has done something to me that I never thought was possible — it’s made me abandon the game. Now, I spend my Sunday afternoons on the golf course and catch up on my team and fantasy players with a concentrated 30 minutes of highlights. Much more efficient use of my valuable time.

  220. It’s boring. It really is. There’s excitement – between the 8 minutes of commercials. I’m not going to stop my day to watch limited live action. I’ll DVR it – go live my life and then come back to it later – skip the commercials. I even record the highlights show and watch that when I want to. This is happening to all viewing – time shifting is here to stay – it’s fine for series and other content – but people thought live sports were immune – maybe not.

  221. The Ref’s and the Rules… So many flags for awful reasons.

    Fans want to celebrate wins, TD’s so do players.. Every time you throw a flag for happiness it reminds me that bosses hate fun.

  222. Quit selling out -DirecTV, NFL Network, ESPN. It used to be I could watch all the games over-the-air. Cord cutters revolt!

  223. Awful product, not hard to figure out. My kids like baseball much better, especially in person.

  224. The games are too slow. There are too many stoppages and obviously commercials. I could do without Thursday night football also. I really only watch on Sunday and if my team plays on Monday or Thursday.

  225. A few reasons. First, people hate politicians and politics, and Roger and DeMaurice are like two greasy politicians and handle themselves and make decisions as such. Why does maybe tampering with a football end with a stiffer penalty than Ray Rice initially got? Next, people are finally realizing the NFL cares about nothing other than making money and the care about player safety, love of the fans, etc. is lip service not backed by action. If you care about the fans, don’t rake them over the coals every chance you get, ie preseason ticket prices. Third, it’s not just football anymore. Sorry, but I don’t watch a football game to see pampered, rich, spoiled professional athletes act like they can relate to the problems they are trying to cure. If you don’t know what the national anthem stands for then listen to the words.

  226. Football isn’t pure anymore as it is no longer about the love of the game. Its about money. Commercials. Television. And even worse than that, the NFL and promoters like ESPN have made it about political, philosophical and sociological statements. I used to take refuge away from that garbage through sports. Now there is no escape, so I unplug elsewhere.

    The NFL has been ruined for me.

  227. I think the comments have it.

    1- NFL is now the no fun league – silly rules that have taken away from some of the fun. Who cares if Antonio Brown twerks? I thought that was GREAT.

    2- The refs are trying but they just can’t keep up, they’re only human. Even tennis uses modern technology to call balls in and out…TENNIS for goodness sake!

    3- The rules are ridiculous:
    3.a. – What the hell is a catch??
    3.b. – Looking at the QB sideways is a 15 yd penalty (unless it’s Cam)
    3.c. – Looking at a WR sideways is pass interference
    3.d. – You can’t hit too high….or too low.
    3.e. – There’s essentially a flag on EVERY play (at least that’s what it seems like sometimes).

    4. Too diluted – MNF, TNF, Sun Football, London Football. TNF sucks – the teams are tired. London football usually features terrible teams playing terrible football.

    5. The game used to be faster, now there seems to be commercials between every snap. I DVR games and skip through it all.

    6. Football is moving to cable (NFL channel, ESPN) just as people are starting to really cut cable. Bad timing NFL.

    7. And the most likely reason – Bad football. There are only a handful of perpetually dominant teams, but that majority of the league is dominated by horrible front offices and bad coaches that perpetuate endless mediocrity (Browns, Jags, Colts, Bucs, Saints, Chargers, Dolphins, Jets, Niners, Texans, the entire NFC East (and I’m a Giants fan), and add your team here).

  228. There may be several reasons why the NFL ratings are down,, but the one the jumps out at me the most is that young people just dont care about it the way we did.

    I grew up in the 70s and all the men in my family watched football every sunday. Of course we had a contender year in and year out with the vikings.

    Now most of those men have passed away and i still continue to watch, but my kids dont care at all about football.
    They are to busy with Phones, Netflix, and Video Games.

    In short times have changed and the NFL just mite not be as exciting as it used to be especially for kids with short attention spans.

  229. There are a lot of good responses here about politics. I agree they are a factor. People need an escape. But, you know, throw all that on top of the fact no one can figure out what the capital H constitutes a catch going back three seasons and it smells corrupt.

  230. Well….the league took a sport that was peaking in national interest and started to change all the rules (PATs, no hitting the QB, no hard hits at all, instant replay nonsense). Why would you insist on changing something that wasn’t broken in the first place?

  231. Why should I watch? How exactly has the NFL earned my loyalty?

    I love my team, but for how long will it be here? My team used to be Cleveland’s team. Maryland’s old team is in Indy. St. Louis lost a team they had supported for 20 some years. St. Louis will continue to pay for a stadium ($100 million) to house a team they no longer have, and the owners tried to screw the PSL holders. You think anyone in STL is watching the NFL anymore? Does the NFL think the rest of us haven’t noticed?

    Cincinnati has lost key public services to cuts because of the stadium renovations. The Raiders are moving to Vegas, maybe, where taxpayers of some sort will have to pay for a stadium.

    The Redskins want a new stadium in Virginia. The NFL is a never ending parade of billionaires (likely non-taxpaying) demanding taxpayer dollars for virtually nothing in return.

    And I can’t afford to go to any of games with my family. Ravens tickets in winning seasons can be $100 a person for super nose bleeds. Who’s paying $400 (and tack on $200 for parking and food) for 4 people to see a game?!?! $100 jerseys, hard pass. Will the players on the jerseys even be on the team (see Justin Forsett) after I swipe my card?

    Also, endless commercials during the game make watching a complete grind. I start watching an hour in– just to fast forward, which I’m sure they’ll find a way to stop eventually.

    It’s obvious the NFL doesn’t care about fans. And when you hate your fans this much, eventually you don’t have fans anymore.

  232. Many reasons…

    But mainly I think the fans have had it with an inept and corrupt commissioner

    Even aside from FrameGate, you’ve got Roger “learning his lesson” from the Ray Rice debacle (where Roger was caught lying under oath to the court) – which is of course why Roger crafted Framegate in the first

    And what was the lesson learned from only giving Ray Rice a 2 game suspension?

    Give Josh Brown of the Giants just ONE game for beating his wife 25 times

    Add Kaep-Gate to that and no wonder everyone is disgusted

  233. Why was politics in football not an issue before Kaep? The military paying the NFL to promote its product (war) is political. The NFL helped build up support for a second war in Iraq, an utter failure, and you are fine with that? So let me get this straight, when the NFL helps convince a populace to go get killed in a foreign country for no strategic reason its not political, and when an American is concerned that Americans are being killed by Americans it is political? Gotcha.

  234. Football was the perfect sport……then the owners decided to hire Roger Goodell. It’s been downhill ever since….

  235. I suspect the player protests are having a major impact. I was a hard-core fan (season ticket holder for 10+ years) who has morphed into a more casual fan over the last 5 years for many of the other reasons mentioned above.

    But a back-up quarterback making $13 million this year refusing to stand for the national anthem and lecturing me and others (including the fans in the stands) about inequality and oppression on the anniversary of September 11th put me over the top. It literally made me nauseous to think about that day (a somber day for personal reasons and for the country).

    I watched no NFL that day and have not looked back.

  236. The NFL has been going downhill ever since they fired Tag (and YES, they fired him) and hired someone who doesn’t understand the game.

  237. When you take your stars out of the game you can see the results. Taking Brady out for competitive purposes (which everyone sees whether they will admit it or not) hurts the game. It’s becoming the WWF.

  238. Players kneeling is a big one for me. Pass interference is a joke so I guess you could say officiating. I’m all for discipline and law and order but Goodell needs to be gone. Money talks though….

  239. These dorks totally disregard the obvious: for many of us, especially old geezers like myself, at some point it become a ben there done that.
    Take NASCAR, son in law got me interested four years ago and now, its guys making left turns and playing nice. Boring as hell. Unless I’m at the track and can hear the noise as such, its really a long waste of time.
    Football is getting there too. How many good teams are there? Watching Detroit or Chicago battle anyone is mind boggling numb. Its like baseball, no pitching and your going nowhere over 120 game schedule.
    Who would watch there team lose 89 games because at the start of the season the GM didn’t bring in good arms to carry the team?
    How many great QB’s are there now? Its a watered down mess and many of us are moving on.

  240. Oh and when someone gets hurt now, they go to commercials ad nauseum. Once the guy is off the field they come back and dont say a dam thing about, wow they lost there top lineback et al, that is really going to change the strategy. Hell no, there is no commentary anymore.
    The instant replays are a joke. Now instead of commentary on whether such a play worked, your in commercial la la land and it aint working for me.
    Do not get DTV either, it has more commercials than regular TV. My wife can follow a game on her phone while were in commercials and tell me what is taking place and then they come back and your team is now on the 40, was on the 20 when they went to commercial and you have no idea why.

  241. I still love the NFL. I will watch the NFL Sunday Ticket and Game Pass and the like but Kaepernick pisses me off. I don’t like being told by social justice warriors how I need to live and what I should think. I will only watch live events on NFL Network now. That’s all.

  242. Try this idea. The NFL has put the majority of its resources into supporting social causes. They lost site of promoting the game of football.
    It is more important for the NFL to have women and minorities in senior positions. Look at all the Sr VPs they have promoted in the last couple of years. Most of these people don’t know how to put on a helmet, but they get an A+ for having a bunch on minority women in charge. Who is in charge of youth football? Football Ops?
    Social promotion and affirmative action may work at a high school level, but in capitalism, only the strong should survive. At the NFL the weak get promoted.

  243. That’s like Hillary asking, “What Happened?”, seriously! put the stupid socialist, political correctness aside and say the truth! people have had it with these overpaid cry-babies mixing politics with sports. The fans want to get away and enjoy a good game of football, but guess what? they have found out they can live without it! At least I have and so have a multitude of my friends and acquaintances,
    So maybe the advertisers should give some words of advice to the NFL.

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