TV ratings down, again

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Once is an accident, twice is a trend. Four times is a new reality.

The NFL’s TV ratings are generally down in 2016, based on an apples-to-apples comparison between the corresponding weeks of the 2015 season.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, the overnight rating for Monday night’s Giants-Vikings game of 9.1 was down eight percent from the 9.9 generated in the same spot by Lions-Seahawks a season ago.

Sunday night’s ratings for Chiefs-Steelers were down 26 percent from Saints-Cowboys a year earlier, the early Sunday Colts-Jaguars game was down 24 percent, and the FOX late-afternoon window was down 10 percent.  The FOX 1:00 p.m. ET window also saw a decline, with a 20-percent decline from 2015 to 2016.

In only one window did the league experience a ratings uptick: A two-percent climb in the regional games beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Whether the new reality continues isn’t known, and the reasons for it aren’t clear. Regardless, fewer people are watching the NFL on TV than they were a year ago. If this continues, it will be very hard for the league to experience the kind of growth it expects when the next round of broadcast-rights negotiations commences.

Meanwhile, don’t expect the new reality to change this weekend, when Thursday night’s game pits the 1-3 Cardinals against the 1-3 49ers, the Monday night game features the 1-3 Buccaneers against the 1-3 Panthers, and Giants-Packers on Sunday night competes with the second presidential debate.

258 responses to “TV ratings down, again

  1. Giants-Packers on Sunday night will be dead. And I will enjoy it.

  2. I feel deflategate to fans was the NFL jumping the shark. The more we learned about the NFL owners and front office the less we can enjoy their product.

    A lot of the media did not help by being divisive instead of being informative. The main things fans learned form that 20 month saga was not to trust anyone connected to the NFL. If you trust them, they will make you look like a fool.

    Fool me once….shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you.

    Shame on you NFL and NFL related media.

  3. Between the flags and truck/beer/junkfood commercials, I can’t remember what down it is. Nance & Simms promo something after every play. Scripted announcers get lost when the game flips to something other than what they discussed in production meetings. Oh yeah, Roger Goodell runs the show. He’s ruined the game & league for us purists. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing…

  4. The NFL has over-saturated its market. It used to be unique. Most games were played on Sunday with one Monday Night game, save for Thanksgiving.

    Also, the NFL has made rules confusing not only to the fans, but to the refs themselves. Is it a catch or isn’t it a catch? Well, the wind is blowing at 45 mph from the west – so no catch!

  5. “If this continues, it will be very hard for the league to experience the kind of growth it expects when the next round of broadcast-rights negotiations commences.”

    And there’s the money statement.

    Do not be surprised years from now when someone finds out the networks gamed the ratings system to negotiate more favorable contracts.

  6. I honestly do not know why TV ratings are down, but I have less interest in the NFL this year than in any year I can remember since the late 1970s when I was a child. I have spent WAY more time reading PFT than I do actually watching NFL games this year. And even with that, I used to read EVERYTHING football on every site I could find. This season I basically restrict my reading to PFT and my local team’s newspapers. And the opposing team’s local papers. But I have not watched nearly as many games as I normally would. And I have no idea why.

  7. Bottom line: America’s viewing habits are changing, and fast. These relentless blocks of commercials are a shock to the system, and they’re something most of us can now only endure for one game a week (the game featuring our team).

    Also, spare me the protests being a reason for the decline. Are national anthems broadcast live in the regular season? No, they aren’t. Which means there are a whole lot of people who say they’re offended by something they’re not actually seeing. They’re just the usual over emotional, thin skinned babies of a certain political persuasion.

  8. SI has a funny article up that blames everything from iPad chargers to sunspots. Not mentioned: ham fisted social engineering efforts. Although there is a cryptic reference to “other theories” that the league may consider just before they have to sell the Colts to a traveling circus to cover the bills.

  9. Because parity is dead. With the rules to emphasis the passing game, great/franchise QB teams have gone from good to great teams to nearly invincible. Everyone else is a 8-8 to 10-6 team…maybe one or two will do something in the playoffs. All those team’s fans and worse are just going to wait until next year

  10. stop cheating and allowing goodells nfl darling teams get away with cheap shots, holding, etc.
    were not blind and were not going to pay you money for a game that is clearly being officiated with favorites.
    maybe suspending these orange headhunters would help the ratings. bring a little integrity back into the game.

  11. I doubt Deflategate had anything to do with the declining ratings, unless you count the fact that the media was oversaturated with coverage of it.
    I think part of it is the fact that for the first month now, the players are only getting into the form they would have had in the past coming out of training camp, with the emphasis on less contact drilling and fewer practices overall. So the NFL puts out a sloppy product for the 1st quarter of the season.
    Add that to the flag-happy refs and the fact that the NFL is actively trying to eliminate most of what the people tune in for, the excitement of the kickoffs and the large hits, not to mention calling every little move and guesture a personal the punter for the Raiders wasn’t taunting when he did Ray Lewis’ squirrel dance on the 50 yd line? No flag there, but spiking the ball is taunting?
    Selective enforcement and more and more of the feel that the enforcement is to lead to certain outcomes for the game make it less watchable.

  12. Godell does what the owners want stop with this it’s his fault thing do you really think he has control of the owners money you idiot it’s the owners that have done this they should be ashamed but they are not

  13. Let me help you. The reason is as clear as an unmuddied lake. Its the racist, anti-America players the teams in the league employ.

    The other garbage you are pretending it is hasn’t turned off fans the past few years.

  14. I think the anthem protests have angered people and the association to BLM….people are tired of a complex issue made to look so simple….oppression. When you disrespect the flag, the military, the veterans and the police you are angering people’s faith in the country. Don’t show the protests or talk about it and the meatheads will stand up.

  15. Much like the WWE, the NFL will always have its core supporters. However, its strength has always been its ability to pull in the casual viewer.

    Between rule changes that aren’t thought out, erratic discipline seeming to favor some teams, awful officiating and the ham-fisted maroon running the show the product has lost its luster.

    Seems to me getting rid of Fraudger and Blandino would go a long way towards solving the league’s issues.

  16. Biggest mistake was making it a point to see who kneels during the national anthem.

    That upset so many americans and politicized what was previously an escape from reality.

    You did this to yourselves.

  17. The league’s insistence on taking defense out of the game is hurting the product and therefore hurting viewership.

    It is also clear the league has mandated players like OBJ be disciplined in-game for any violation to the point where he was disciplined for no violation at all and a 15 yard flag.

    Richie Incognito got a 15 yarder for a tiny shove on a Patriot DL that barely moved him.

    It has become stupid watching some of the ticky-tack calls that are making NFL games frustrating to watch.

  18. People and families are just busier … work, travel for work, family functions, attending children’s activities, kids in various sports and other activities and practices, church functions, etc. — plus they are over-saturating us, especially people with families.

    Also, instead of several of us watching at our own homes, our family and all the kids, grandkids, get together at one house for the Sunday games and make a family affair out of it. Otherwise it takes too much time away from family.

    Get rid of Thursdays and the London (6:30 a.m. here) games. Spreading people too thin.

  19. The reason is Goodell’s extended war on the reputations of the leagues top two elder statesman QBs, Brady and Brees, and their teams, and the lost draft picks that could have been stars surrounding them, at the same time that Manning and Favre faded into retirement. Only a new commissioner will be able to restore ratings by putting the interests of the owners before personal vendettas against the leagues most marketable stars.

  20. Here’s a thought…Perhaps you don’t alienate one of your strongest fan bases and tarnish the legacy of your biggest star QB.

  21. For me its the officiating and the lengths of games. It feels like there are way too many bad calls or really asinine judgement calls that impact the game and/or the flow of the game.

    Pile on the old score-commercial-extra pt-commercial-kickoff/touchback-commercial and I have just found other things to do.

    I still tune in to watch my team but I really don’t bother with other games anymore.

  22. Speaking for me….I’m sick of seeing guys making millions per season, owners teams being valued in the billions and the poor fan having to pay 10bucks for a beer. Bankruptcy would be great!

  23. The NFL better hope the Cubs don’t make it to the World Series. Those ratings will blow the NFL ratings out of the water.

  24. contra74 nailed it. This is what’s changed from last year. The other variables are constant.

  25. Maybe people are growing weary of supporting millionaire’s who behave like criminals. And the billionaires’s who hold communities hostage to get new/renovated stadiums. Separate the game from the common man and he will lose interest.

  26. To watch the games on TV have become boring & frustrating. Between stupid rule changes that cause stoppages every other play and watching the same boring commercials time and time again, you really feel like you should be tested for CTE and then sue the NFL yourself.

  27. Football is where we go to get away from politics. When you let Kap drag football into politics it has turned a lot of people off. Vote for whoever you want I don’t care. Just leave you’re stupid political opinions out of the greatest game in the world.

  28. 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.

  29. Roger Goodell overplayed his hand, especially with deflategate. The awareness of the physical toll on players is discouraging.

    I stick to Bay Area teams now.

  30. I’ve generally lost interest in the NFL… the primary reason for me is the flow of the game, or lack thereof. Every couple of minutes the game is constantly interrupted with an onslaught of commercials. I’m sorry, but I have better things to do with my life then watch 2 minutes of football, book-ended with 5 minutes of commercials, over and over and over and over again… aint gonna happen, not no more!

  31. Hindsight is 20/20 but the primetime games have been a joke this year for the most part other than the season opener in Denver which still doesn’t explain the falloff. National anthem kneel-downs, race relations, marijuana policy, Goodell etc. you could go on and on about why ratings are down but I think Goodell is the root of all of this.

  32. .
    Once you realize that Goodell and his team of idol worshippers think so little of their customers (the fans) , it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Despite being a Patriots fan and losing Brady for four games, I’d have to say overall that ” framegate ” was actually beneficial to the game. Because now we know that Goodell is being paid 44 million to destroy the league. His deputies, like Pash, Gardi, Kensil et al are paid in excess of 6 million dollars per year. What a joke.

  33. terrible noon games. last week, I had ONE noon game on CBS. THATS ALL – JUST ONE GAME out of six (or seven) to watch.

    It was the Bills at Patriots and while it was probably extremely enjoyable for Bills fans; it was garbage for an NFC East fan, like myself.

    So, I did what most normal folks would do when dissatisfied with my TV programming, I CHANGED the channel and watched COPS.

    Yes, I’d rather watch cops or play a game., than watch the only NFL game on television. Especially when I do not care for wither of the two teams that are playing.

  34. Another possible element, a friend mentioned that its difficult to watch games with their kids anymore because there are so many ED commercials talking about sex and erections and they dont want to explain it to their kids. Maybe they grab for commercial revenue from adult advertisers like ED meds, gambling sites, and hard liquor is leading to an aging fan base as they are giving up growth for cash today.

  35. As an old fart I can relay some ideas based on seeing the growth of the NFL from the 1960’s until now:
    1)More is not always better
    During the season there are three days/nights where the product is available. Other than the Packers and a couple other teams, I don’t care about the rest. I’d rather be outside enjoying fall weather. The NFL keeps trying to expand the number of games and my theory is the product would be sought after more if there was less of it.
    Shortening the season to 14 games and one more round of playoffs might help.

    2)It’s very predictable. Unlike college football, you know going in the top teams will likely win. The mystery is leaving.

    3)Injuries. Notice the difference between the college game and the pros regarding health? More than likely the college game will have the stars playing. In many pro games, the stars are hurt. The modern pro athlete is too big and too fast. I think the pros should adopt college rules.

    4) The league office needs to stop treating the players like lackeys and the owners need to stop treating the fans like suckers who will pay anything for the product.

  36. contra74 says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:59 PM
    Biggest mistake was making it a point to see who kneels during the national anthem.
    That upset so many americans and politicized what was previously an escape from reality.
    You did this to yourselves.

    That’s exactly why I make it a point to watch my favorite team only, Don’t watch any of the other games at all – same going on with everyone else at my work too

  37. Maybe it’s because of the bad officiating, the constant rule changes that allow rookie QBs to throw for 4k yards, the lack of transparency from Blandino, the injection of politics by political activists posing as NFL reporters (looking at you Peter King), and people like Kap being divisive. The product itself has lost quality.

  38. Also, the never-ending stream of questionable penalties is killing the flow of the game as well. Let these guys hit the hell out of each other like the good old days.

    To be frank, I couldnt care less if these dudes kill themselves on the field… the bloodier the better! These athletes get paid millions of dollars to play a childs game, and IMO are there for my entertainment… it’s not my fault if their chosen profession causes them to exit this life in their mid 60’s

  39. Step one….drop ESPN and give Monday back to a major network that actually knows how to broadcast a game instead of a walking ego who only likes to listen to himself talk.

    Step two….simulcast all the Thursday games, not just some of them.

    Step three…London….stop, just stop.

    Step Four….Stop worrying about what sneakers players wear and start worrying about them using the NFL as a free platform for political protest while representing as employees. No one cares and its turning people off.

  40. Under inflated balls resulting in millions of dollars in legal fees, starting QB suspension for it , absurd ” completing the process” rules, pity pat PI and holding flags ( or NON flags ) resembling baseball’s strike zone inconsistencies, seemingly biased officiating that benefit NFL’s and media’s darling teams and players…on and on and on. It is getting exhausting.
    Don’t get me wrong. I still love the game over all other sports but, it can frustrate the crap out of you. I mean, just look at my user name

  41. No one is staying away due to deflategate. Don’t lie to yourselves.

    They’re staying away for 2 reasons.

    1. Quality of product
    2. Social engineering

    1 – the game itself sucks. no defense, BS penalties and keep screwing around with kick offs, PATs etc. Leave the game alone. There’s NO GOOD REASON why anyone should ever know a referee’s name on sight. We do because they’ve forced themselves into the game. That needs to end now.

    2. Enough electrons have been wasted on this part – we all know.

  42. Too many commercials

    Too much social justice and politics involved

    Too many penalties for celebration

    Most of the Commentators stink

    There, how’s that for a start….

  43. Pathetic game plans & efforts by the Chiefs & Giants didn’t help anything. Same can be said of other teams every week.

  44. I can’t speak for everyone, but where I’m from its 100% the protests. The first two weeks of the season it felt like some people were gonna cave in & end their boycott. Now it feels like everyone has gone through their withdrawal & are 100% NFL clean.

  45. It will continue to go down as people cut the cord to high cable bills and rely on binge TV watching habits with Netflix, Hulu.ETC…. There are more options for people so they don’t have to be stuck watching bad football any longer.

  46. For me, its not a difficult thing to figure out. First, too many nights where the league is playing games, its no longer a special thing to watch Monday Night Football. You have games on Thursday, Sunday morning with games in London, you have noon and afternoon games, then Sunday night, then Monday night. At some point in the season we’ll throw in Saturday night games. Then add in the officiating and confusion on things such as what constitutes a catch and just generally bad officiating and its just not a special as it used to be when you had Sunday games, then Monday night. You only had two days and 3 time slots to sit down and watch football.

  47. Good! I’ll enjoy the demise of the NFL. Goodell, take a knee, commercials and penalties have me boycotting.

    I played golf on Sunday and enjoyed it immensely. Doing it again this week. If not for fantasy, I doubt I’d care at all. Thanks Roger!!

  48. Points are cheap these days. I do have to agree with that.

    Go back to the 80’s and 90’s and getting a first down was sort of a big deal. Now first downs are literally given away for nothing and TD’s seem to be no big deal. If the opponents team scores I don’t get worried because scoring is pretty easy to do these days.

  49. Hopefully it won’t take the demise of the NFL to get rid of Roger, but if it does, I am willing to take that sacrifice.

  50. I haven’t watched as much. The reason was covered above. 1-3 reason….commercials. A punt at the 12 second left mark in a first quarter, followed by a commercial, then back for final play of quarter, followed by a 3-4 minute commercial, followed by 2 plays and player on a knee, commercial, back for a third down TD, followed by commercial, then a kickoff, commercial. It’s flat unwatchable. The only other main reason…flags. They are like braille that games are read with.

  51. contra74 says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:59 PM
    Biggest mistake was making it a point to see who kneels during the national anthem.

    That upset so many americans and politicized what was previously an escape from reality.

    You did this to yourselves.

    I love how ESPN basically never used to show the anthem, but now they go out of their way to show it EVERY time and have cameras in perfect position to show the misguided boneheads either kneeling or putting their fist in the air.

    They literally are going out of their way to make a thing out of it. Well, you are getting results alright, maybe not the ones you wanted, but results nontheless.

  52. blaming the protests is absurd, NO one is turning off a game they want to watch because somebody took a knee. It because what we’re seeing now is a watered down version of the game it was even a couple of years ago, with the league trying to legislate half of the reasons we watch out of the game. Crappy QB play, players who can’t tackle any more because they can’t practice it, concern over player safety, and most of all the never ending stream of commercials is whats killing the game. I’ve found I can’t even watch most games if i don’t record them and then fast forward through all the stoppages between plays. or I just watch the damn red zone channel. The NFL needs to forget the idea of extending the season and dump the Thursday night and early AM London games altogether and focus on fixing the way the games are broadcast

  53. I stopped because of the political activism and “safety” changes. Pro football is almost unwatchable…

  54. Of course you don’t want to admit it’s the protest. They’re free to do whatever but not free to suffer the consequences.
    If you want to protest do it on your time not while you’re representing the team/NFL.

  55. it would be an interesting post if you looked into the numbers for other programing to see if its not just football, or are the numbers down across the board because people don’t have to deal with cable companies monopolies any longer. id bet that the numbers for mnf are down less then other programing on espn.

    my guess is its not the new reality for football, but the new reality for cable companies.

    i dont have cable. for football sundays i whip out the bunny ears, but other then that i dont watch old fashioned tv. i get things off of netflix, amazon, hulu. but yeah its a guy taking a knee. and deflategate.

  56. I mean is anyone else shocked?

    The league keeps changing the rules.

    Short of Bruno Mars has anyone seen a good halftime show recently?

    They don’t enforce the rules equally or punishment.

    The draft is now a joke, 100% commercialized version of what it used to be. I mean how do you have a draft party when the first round is Thursday Night? People actually work it should have stayed on the weekend!

    Teams cheat to win. (not just the Pat’s we have had plenty of other teams cheat)

    Politics and sports never work, so just keep it about football!

    People are tired of overpaid athletes beating kids up, women up, and acting like jerks!

    People are really tired of “The New Better NFL”

    Plus the refs get half the calls wrong!

  57. I’m tired of flags.

    I’m tired of players such as Kaepernick using their sport as a platform to further their own agendas.

    I’m tired of all the holding calls disrupting the flow of the game.

    I’m tired of New York reviewing everything under the sun.

    The NFL is now over saturated.

    It’s week 5 and already I’m not tuning in.

    Do you hear me, NFL?

  58. You know the weather up north has been pretty warm. I haven’t watched as much as I usually would cause we have been outside.

  59. Commercials, commercials, commercials…oh and we’re back for a punt…commercials, commercials, commercials.

  60. gronkasaurus says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:52 PM

    Because parity is dead. With the rules to emphasis the passing game, great/franchise QB teams have gone from good to great teams to nearly invincible. Everyone else is a 8-8 to 10-6 team…maybe one or two will do something in the playoffs. All those team’s fans and worse are just going to wait until next year

    ^^^ THIS ^^^

    It’s great when your team has a quarterback, but if they don’t there’s little chance a RB or defense will be able to carry the team for long. The games are predictable and boring.

    By mid-season it’s usually clear who the playoff teams will be.

  61. Here’s a thought….people are ditching cable. Legal or not the games are on the internet.
    The protests do turn people off…I don’t care. I rotate the wings during the anthem (respectfully, w/a moment of thought for those who serve here and abroad-26yr Navy Vet.).
    Every sport has its day in the sun. Europe maybe for fun, or Asia, but who would care?
    Including pot as a performance enhancing drug is ludicrous.

    Nuff said

  62. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t care to be called an oppressor by a guy getting paid $12M to not play a game.

  63. For me it’s that there’s too many penalties and too many commercials.
    Hard to watch a game without a DVR.
    The flow of the game is way too slow like a baseball game.

    Score (8 sec play)
    1 minute of review replays and extra point
    2 minutes of commercials
    Kickoff (8 seconds)
    1/2 minutes of commercials
    Play (8 seconds)
    1 minute – injury
    Play (8 second)
    1 min – Penalty
    Play (8 sec)
    3 minutes – challenge
    Play (8 sec)
    1 min – timeout

  64. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:57 PM

    I think the anthem protests have angered people and the association to BLM….people are tired of a complex issue made to look so simple….oppression. When you disrespect the flag, the military, the veterans and the police you are angering people’s faith in the country. Don’t show the protests or talk about it and the meatheads will stand up.


    Fans in the stands eat, talk, laugh, keep their hats on, and scream during certain parts of the anthem. Where’s the outrage over that? That behavior is just as disrespectful as what you described about the players on the field. If you’re going to call disrespect on the anthem, call it both ways.

  65. Thursday night football is a joke, especially from a league that supposedly prides itself on being more safety conscious than ever before. Take the game this coming Thursday. The Cardinals starting QB is hurt.

    If this game were played on Sunday, there’s little doubt Palmer would be ready to play, but because Roger Goodell’s own network insists on broadcasting live games to get more exposure, the Cardinals pay the price this week, and next week some other team will as well.

    In addition, the obsession with London needs to stop. If Europe wants to join the NFL, let them start playing American football in their high schools and colleges, and bring up their own players; you are NEVER going to get top-flight players from the big five college conferences to want to move to Europe, or play their “home” games in another hemisphere. NEVER.

  66. Too much.

    Too many nights of games.

    Too much over-analysis.

    Too many pre-game and post-game shows.

    Too much advertising.

    Too many overdone, oversaturated uniform schemes.

    Too much off-field controversy.

    Too many, too much.

  67. Well I for one STREAM all my games on sites.. Why? BECAUSE NFL won’t let me watch MY TEAM unless I shell out thousands of dollars and get direct TV.. Why should I have to pay all that money for something that is on a FREE CHANNEL???
    NFL should allow the user to watch whatever game they want no matter where you live on TV.. Ratings would go WAY up if you had that option.. I could not watch the BEST game of the week which was Ravens vs Raiders in a thrilling game instead I was forced to watch The Bills play against a 4th string backup in the Patriots in a BORING game….So I went online, found a site got an HDMI cable and watched MY game for free which was on CBS which is FREE..

  68. to me, it’s the fact that people are dropping cable and satellite. I think that’s going to kill ratings for anything on espn.

    SNF drop in ratings are the real concern. Anybody can watch NBC if they just have an antenna. Is it possible people these days are just kind of bored with the game? It’s not really exciting anymore.

    for instance, “TOUCHDOWN!”….ok let’s wait to see if that was really a touchdown…. …. …. ok yeah touchdown.

  69. this year i decided to listen to the games on the radio, instead of sitting in front of a tv getting fat and lazy. i now lead a more productive life, which also makes my wife a lot happier too

  70. There are many reasons and that is why the decline has been so precipitous.

    I went to one game and watched none last weekend. I bought nothing at the stadium. Next week I will watch one game. I am one person and have one reason alone to not watch-deflategate.

    As for the scores of other reasons people cite for not watching I either don’t care, don’t mind or support.I do encourage not watching for whatever reason a person chooses because it supports my goal as well.

  71. It’s not the protests. I support CK and I’m still not watching because the product is trash. Bad rules. No hitting. Commercials. Penalties. I rhink fantasy enthusiasts are keeping this crap on life support and gooddell is too dumb to know it

  72. More people are cutting the cord every day, MNF is going to go down no matter what happens…

    SNF had the Chiefs, in a blowout.. Bad ratings had to be expected.

  73. As so many are saying here, it’s just not that fun to watch a game on TV. You can hardly ever settle into it before another raft of commercials gets stuffed in, or distracting promos, or mediocre sideline correspondents. Want a replay of that last play? Sorry, here are some commercials instead.

    Every game, it seems like they cut to commercial as quickly and as often as possible, giving an unpleasant breathlessness to everything. Look at those older NFL broadcasts the league is helpfully showing us on YouTube. They were so relaxed by comparison.

    Today’s NFL on TV almost seems apologetic for intruding on the commercials. It used to look and feel like the game, not the ads, was the main event.

  74. It is NFL Redzone. My wife and I quit watching regular Sunday games 4 years ago unless my team is directly on locally (I am in Texas but, a 49ers fan). Like this last weekend I watched a national broadcast of a sunday afternoon game for the first time in a long time just because my team was playing the Cowboys who are shown locally. Far as the night games. I make it to half time. Some of us work the next day you know.

  75. Too many bad games and over exposure. Also, football is just flat not as popular following the concussions screw up.

    Get rid of Thurs Night games and fix that Mon Night horror show. If the games are good, we watch.

  76. I said this last week. I think people turn to their sports as a diversion to the rest of the BS in the week, The NFL has allowed that BS to be a focal point of their product and people don’t like it.

    If you have a social issue you want to bring attention to do it on your time. You are at work, be a professional. viewers could not get away with it and don’t what it placed in their entertainment.

    Commercial blocks are longer and more often. Trucks. Beer and Boner drugs oh-my!

    Networks that lie and leak false info for the commissioner… That is YOU DISNEY/ESPN/ABC.

    Inconsistent officiating. There are not enough hours in the day to cover this.

    people seeing the curtain pulled back during the deflate gate BS didn’t help. Roger proven there is no integrity to the shield.

    People are turning away from the tarnished shield. They are finding more pleasant diversions.

  77. Any sport where the rules are too confusing for even the officials to understand is in trouble when it comes to attracting new fans and satisfying old ones.

  78. You can all say what you want but if you look at all the thumbs up, it is clear that more people are upset about the kneeling during the anthem than anything else.

    What some people fail to understand that the National Anthem is sacred, to kneel during it is to commit sacrilege in some people’s eyes.

    I, for one, have not and will not watch while the NFL allows this to continue but would not allow the Cowboys to show solidarity with the Dallas police.

  79. They have the right to kneel during the national anthem. Having served in the military I have the right to protest watching the games because of it. Stop with the disrespect, and I might come back. On the other hand my lawn has never looked so good.

  80. I think are a few reasons for this. Sunday’s you don’t have to sit through commercials you just throw on red zone. You don’t have to sit through an entire game. If your team isn’t on red zone is the better option.
    it’s down on thursdays, sundays and Monday’s because the commercial time outs are unbearable. I had to sit through it last night because I’M a giants fan. ANY excuse to go to a commercial break they will. On one injury they rushed to a commercial and had to rush back because a play was going on.
    I honestly think a major reason for Monday nights is John Gruden. it’s impossible to listen to him. Tirico is also a better announcer than Mcodnough but Gruden is atrocious. This guy, let me tell about this guy he is my guy. then he compares fringe and mediocre players to all time greats…constantly. there is only so much you can take of him.

  81. Cowboys can’t put a sticker on their helmets to support hometown police that were assassinated

    Desean Jackson can protest on his shoes, while others protest the National Anthem

    Double standard.

    I am watching a lot less football and doing other things…

  82. gronkasaurus says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:52 PM
    Because parity is dead. With the rules to emphasis the passing game, great/franchise QB teams have gone from good to great teams to nearly invincible. Everyone else is a 8-8 to 10-6 team…maybe one or two will do something in the playoffs. All those team’s fans and worse are just going to wait until next year

    92 7
    92 likes to 7 dislikes? Do you guys watch football? Do you see the last 2 undefeated teams in the NFC had new starting QBs a week before the season, and the last undefeated team in the AFC has one of the best defenses in the league? I’m sorry but you guys are out of touch with actual reality with the league. I’ll enjoy watching Bradford throw it 25 times or less in 12/16 games this season as the vikings go 13-3 or better. I’m sure DEN fans will enjoy it to, and the rest of you will have to come through our home stadiums and beat us with your “corrupt super easy to pass because of Roger Goodell franchise QB teams”. Good luck…

  83. As a high school teacher, I now have students no longer standing for or saying the pledge. My father didn’t take two bullets and spend years as a POW in WWII to get slapped with that disrespect. I’ll read about it on here but won’t watch any longer.

  84. I highly doubt the decline in ratings is due to Roger Goodell or Colin Kaepernick or the refs or anything else you nutjobs say. I think it’s just because the on-field product is declining. Look how many teams are 1-3. There are no dominant teams anymore. Even the Patriots can get shut out at home by the Bills. The NFL today is so weird because any team can beat any other team on any given day, but yet it’s usually the same teams in the conference championships every year.

    Anyways… this is just TV ratings. Another reason for the ratings drop is that people are so opposed to cable these days. So many people are “cord-cutters.”

  85. IMO, too much Rodger Goodell/NFL politics, officiating and Kaepernick.

    Rodger Goodell is just awful. The whole deflategate thing was a complete joke. Anyone who believes in science should know that the NFL was wrong in that instance. The NFL had two needles that read different PSIs. The fact that they took that through the courts is a joke. People with their eyes open are tired of seeing teams/players screwed. Incognito, Brady, the Saints, Redskins/Cowboys(violating unwritten cap rules in an uncapped year). Obvious bias towards the Jets(small fine for tampering vs picks for the chiefs) and Giants.

    The league has an Anti Defense/Action stance and the game is ugly to watch. No more kick off returns, no more hard hits, less run game. The rules are overly complex and enforced arbitrarily. No one knows whats a catch or catch/fumble(those are just incomplete passes now). Even with Replay, the Refs cant even get that Browns fumble right. I am a skins fan. That was terrible.

    Also fines for excessive celebration. What a joke.

    Then there is Kaepernick. Many people believe that he is disrespecting the flag, and that turns people off. One good thing I can say about Kaepernick is that, he just did it without making a deal about it… until someone asked him about it in the third preseason game. Unlike players who announce their protest before hand, crying about losing sponsers… etc.

  86. craignflfan says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:41 PM
    Get rid of Goodell and we will come back.
    You make it sound like you haven’t watched 1 game this season.
    I’m calling BS.

  87. After seeing that bogus turnover call in the Cleveland/Redskins does anyone wonder why ratings are down? With today’s advanced technology something like that should never ever happen. If it would have happened to the Patriots or Cowboys the media would be all over it. Instead it happens to the Browns and no one seems to care. The NFL should be ashamed of themselves for putting that type of garbage officiating on the field far too often then not.

  88. Network greed and click artists who constantly try to undermine the league and glorify cheating has played a huge role in this. It’s greed by the media.

  89. Payers have the right to kneel, sit, or pick their nose during the anthem. I also have the right to not see it.
    When fans began running out on to the field to express their right to be an a$$ the networks stopped showing it. The networks should stop showing the sidelines during the anthem!
    I didn’t want to see fans on the field and I don’t want to see political statements on the field either.

  90. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed Retiring has hurt the game. They were the greatest DEFENSIVE players to play the “modern game” today they would be thrown out of the league for the hits they made and enjoyment they showed on the football field.

    You can’t watch a single game in real time because of all the terrible commercials. The rule changes make it harder and harder to believe the games are NOT fixed and 2nd string back-ups acting like fools during the national anthem just looks stupid for a group of stupid players and owners what is becoming more of a sideshow than traditional sport event.

  91. “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.”

    -Justice Jackson 1943

  92. Programs like Kodi and foreign websites to watch the NFL games without paying for direct tv is becoming more of the norm.

    Plus the focus of the NFL protest have really turned off people. I ask friend’s how did you like the game. They watch their own teams if possible. Most say they won’t watch the NFL because of the BLM’s protest. They are sick of it. They don’t want to have their children ask questions about it. Everything is so political and now the NFL is. They allow it so they are reaping the rewards. The networks focus on who actually protested at the start of the game. I could care less and it seems alot of others think the same way. I love the NFL but the protest thing is way over done. These players make millions of dollars and can’t even state their problem with the police when asked.

    The NFL use to be something I looked forward too. Now I can get my scores on my phone any time I want.

    When the players go on strike in a few years both NFL and players will find out who actually still supports the NFL.

  93. I’ve contributed to the lower ratings, I haven’t watched nearly as much football as I normally do.

    Why, you ask?

    Too many commercials, too many defensive holding/illegal contacts with automatic first downs, too many unsportsmanlike penalties, too many reviews, and so on. I just don’t have the patience anymore.

    Furthermore, I live in northern Michigan. It’s been a nice September. I want to be outside on my boat or doing something with my family. Maybe I’ll watch more when it starts snowing next month.

  94. Maybe they need to cut back on commercials? The Giants-vikings game was just one long commercial. And they missed plays due to not coming back from commercials in time.

  95. Fantasy football is the root cause. Fans are starting to care more about their fantasy teams than they do about the real teams. The result is, they have little interest in watching a single game for three hours. They can watch the Red Zone channel or highlight shows to find out how THEIR “team” performed.

  96. I think the anthem protests are taking a toll. I personally find the protests annoying and stressful to watch. Whether or not the players have a good point, it’s not why I watch football. I want to get away from politics and complaining, not watch them.

  97. NFL has over reached in it’s do anything for anybody for money approach … not holding a bit back. I am at a point in my life where the Steelers game and maybe one other is a good week. Any more just consumes too much time. When I was in my twenties and thirties I could watch everything.

    I look at guys in their twenties and thirties and their love of/preoccupation with Fantasy football. Instead of watching games, they watch “Red Zone” they are interested in individual performances across the league, not the team battle of four quarters.

    Adding Thursday and Sunday Night and a few Saturdays. Feeding the whole Fantasy Beast. Made a lot of short term dough. But may be killing the ratings of the game.

  98. contra74 says:
    Oct 4, 2016 3:59 PM
    Biggest mistake was making it a point to see who kneels during the national anthem.

    That upset so many americans and politicized what was previously an escape from reality.

    You did this to yourselves.
    Absolutely right. May just be the nail in the coffin. I could at least look forward to a 3 hour reality escape once a week…not anymore

  99. Time for the NFL to spend a bit more time trying to improve the game for the sake of the viewing audience. The NHL went through this a few years ago, where they focused on speeding up the game. Players were taking too long between the whistle to get going, and it was becoming annoying for the TV audience. As a father of two I barely have enough time to watch my Texans game (and generally I record it and watch it from behind). I think the NFL should spend some time figuring out how to reduce the number of timeouts during a game. If you watch it from behind, take out the timeouts and halftime, you can easily watch a game in an hour and a half. If you could even reduce the average NFL game by 30 minutes or so, it might make things more watchable again.

    And maybe re-introduce some fun into the NFL. Everything has become litigious, such as the whole deflategate scandal. Let’s stop suspending players for smoking pot, or fining them for wearing individualized shoes, or excessive celebration.

    The NFL has figured out how to grow this behemoth of a league at the expense of the watchability of the game. Time to re-focus on that again.

  100. Again; If I could watch *my* team, through *my* cable provider, through *a Sunday Ticket-style service*, without needing to sign up for DirecTV, I would be glued to every Dolphins game, every week, even though they suck.

    But I can’t do that, because the NFL hates true market competition.

    So, no. I don’t often want to watch crappy regional games. I want to watch my team.

    Give me a way to do that, and I’ll put up with most of the other crap.

    Rog still needs to go, though.

  101. Good, I hope the trend continues. Get out of the Direct TV business and give a flat rate price for divisional teams, single teams, entire nfl and allow us to stream it online for much less than the rape from DirectTV.

  102. As much as I’d like to say it’s based on fans being fed up with the NFL, this probably has more to do with less people getting cable and more people streaming online.

  103. While professional sports has always been an escape of sorts for some fans, by the same token, it has always been a microcosm of American life. Boys dream of being paid to play a child’s game that adults tend to ruin by their inherent capitalist compulsions. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory that money is the root of all evil, but where you find evil you will find those who crave power and wealth, not necessarily in that order. To say politics isn’t a part of professional sports is naive at best and wilfully ignorant at worst. Since before the integration of Jackie Robinson, politics has been a part of professional sports and it always will be. Some people just don’t care for the statements or the the outcomes. You don’t have to believe everything you think. It’s more than likely that you’re wrong.

  104. I’m surprised NO ONE has mentioned what, to me, has a huge part in this, and that’s the growth of fantasy football. Not a lot of people actually CARE about a team anymore. All they care about are their fantasy stats. So, all everybody does is check their fantasy team’s stats on their phone and that’s it. No one actually tunes in to watch their team, or any other teams, for that matter. Maybe that is a combination of everything stated above by many of you. But I think the biggest thing is nobody actually cares about being a “real” fan anymore. It may seem the NFL is bigger than ever but that’s because it’s filled with a bunch of fair weather fans who are “fans” because of fantasy. It’s not because they actually care about the games.

    I’ve seen people who are supposedly die-hards have no idea about the team they root, and not even watch their games! I’ve been a Cowboy fan since I was 9 and maybe missed less than 5 games since 1989. Everyone sees me as some sort of weirdo because I’ve watched every game and I even plan my life around a football schedule. I just see it as being a real fan. I think fantasy football has truly killed that whole thing. The NFL has been oversaturated, and to the wrong people. Football to a lot of people now is just numbers, not players, teams, rivalries, etc.

  105. It’s funny how many different takes there are on the reasons. My position: the game is becoming less fun for men to watch. No one had the stones to protect the game in the face of litigation due to the concussion thing or other movements with hidden agendas. The league rolls over for every special interest group with an ax to grind against “the system”, which of course does not include anything male fans want (especially the much-despised white kind). So year after year, the game moves further away from the sport our fathers watched and imparted in us our love for it.

    By the way, I don’t blame the NFL – they are a corporation and like all big companies they must tow the line in this era of PC Tyranny.

  106. While professional sports has always been an escape of sorts for some fans, by the same token, it has always been a microcosm of American life. Boys dream of being paid to play a child’s game that adults tend to ruin by their inherent capitalist compulsions. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory that money is the root of all evil, but where you find evil you will find those who crave power and wealth, not necessarily in that order. To say politics isn’t a part of professional sports is naive at best and wilfully ignorant at worst. Since before the integration of Jackie Robinson, politics has been a part of professional sports and it always will be. Some people just don’t care for the statements or the the outcomes. You don’t have to believe everything you think. It’s more than likely that you’re wrong.

    It’s actually the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil.

  107. I think football has always served as an escape from the routine troubles and worries folks face daily. It’s been a place where all folks come together and enjoy the camaraderie the game stimulates. Then these external troubles have infiltrated this safe haven and become part of the discussion. I’m saying these issues don’t warrant valid discussion, only that many watch the game for the game. So yes…the protests have definitely negatively impacted the ratings.

  108. 1. Fire Goddell
    2. Contract the Jags
    3. Contract the Chargers
    4. Contract the Browns

    That’s a start.

  109. Thursday night games

    Games overseas

    Left wing propaganda

    The deflatriots constant cheating

  110. Just talked to one of those darn millennials (oh to be young again :). This guy played football through college. Loves the game. Considered a coaching career path.

    Simple world to him. He does not have cable. None of his friends have cable. He monkeys with free streaming … says it costs him about 10-20 minutes to get himself set up for a game … and then goes to the bar in the playoffs.

    Makes sense to me. I am not gonna mess with that stuff, but if I were his age, I would do the same. Watch my ball. For free.

  111. It’s too much of a corporate product. Maybe the NFL can fold and we can start a real football league again. Free from Goodell, London games, and Thursday nights.

  112. All I can say is I used to watch the NFL to get away from politics and women.

    Now that’s all I see when I watch the NFL. I see players voicing their political preference (most of which I personally disagree with) and women who never played a down telling me she likes Odell Beckham’s hair color.

    Throw in a watered down defensive product, pass interference rules that make it impossible to play CB/S in the NFL, and endless protection to QB’s and WR’s and this is it. I still watch, but it’s not the same as it once was. The NFL got so huge that it’s not fun anymore. I’ll go watch the NHL this fall/winter.

  113. It’s really hard for me to watch a complete game that doesn’t feature my team these days. Redzone is such a better product than these primetime commercial laden Collinsworth slobberfests (which have all been lopsided so far) that Sunday 1-10pm is about all I need.

    While I think fatigue is the main reason, I do believe there is some merit to the lack of star power. The players are becoming too replaceable and too quickly (with the right coaching). Besides the obvious Peyton retirement, AP goes down, the Vikings running game is better. Same with Jamaal Charles last year. Romo’s being nudged out for a late rounder; Brady looked near-replaceable until week 4, and the QB who may be playing the best so far was playing against Weber State last year.

    And those are the better teams. It’s pretty difficult to root for a team that is trotting out Cutler or Tannehill when you see some of these other teams win with virtual no names. Now some of these upstart QBs will probably become the next stars of the league so maybe we are just going through a lull but I do not see the same for the non-QB positions. Yeah, there is Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Von Miller, but the majority of the position players around the league are just 23-26 year old first contract guys who will get replaced with a younger version of themselves when that contract runs up and the Jags offer more.

  114. Goodell and the owners just blew it by failing to suspend Kaepernick. That opened the door to the copycats craving attention.

    We have a choice, and I choose to not help contribute to anti-American causes.

  115. One can only hope it continues long enough for Roger to be canned. Let’s be honest the games aren’t very good right now and people have decided to go cow tipping on Sunday to watching football.

  116. Maybe if the players (select few) respected the flag and the USA, they would get better ratings. get rid of the bad apples. Owners need to take a stand.

  117. The NFL’s TV contracts are way overpriced and the media companies are juking the stats downwards to give them leverage next time they’re up for renegotiation.

    Follow the money.

  118. Looking at the responses and up/down votes here would be both illuminating and alarming to the gang that can’t shoot straight. Far and away the most commonly upvoted underlying theme, regardless of the guise it wears, is people do not trust the product or the people behind it. Right or wrong (and there’s arguments to be made on both sides) the face of that fundamental failure is Goodell and the owners aren’t about to fire themselves.

    Last nights numbers are even more alarming than they seem in comparison to last year, the teams involved alone should have made the game a much better draw. In Giants-Vikings you are looking at the #1 media market and most populous conference playing an undefeated team from the #13 market. Last years game featured a matchup between the #8 & 17 markets with no East Coast impact.

  119. The NFL can thank Colin Kaepernick for the low ratings. People are upset the NFL is allowing Kaepernick and others to behave as they are. People are tuning in to other things as a result.

  120. I think the primetime games have been bad and Peyton leaving makes it feel less climactic than years past. The season will mature and there will be drama, so I don’t think it’s forever.

    Although I will say that when I see the networks making it a point by showing people kneeling or holding their fists in the air for the anthem, it definitely gives me a negative impression of the NFL experience.
    Sure they can do what they want but how the networks are going out of their way to show that display when they rarely showed any of the anthem before does have an effect, even if it’s in the subconscious.

  121. Have to be honest – the match-ups for these prime time games have been terrible.

    Sorry Vikes, but until you do something besides losing in the first round of the playoffs, you’re unproven.

    And worse, against the Giants?

    Get good teams playing good teams and the ratings will follow.

  122. NFL Games have turned into flags and commercial breaks. I love the sport of football, but games are taking too long to play. Refs are taking too long to call their penalties and challenges are taking too long.

    It’s getting tougher and tougher to watch these games, especially compared to the Red Zone channel. Best $10/month I have ever spent was getting the Red Zone channel.

  123. “Lots of empty seats in Levi Stadium, blocks and blocks of them”

    How many people can afford to take their family to a game anymore? They may as well put mannequins in the seats, fake crowd noise and just let everyone watch on Sunday Ticket.

  124. The product stinks. The feeling that the game is fixed. You can tell by the third week who is in the mix for the already decided Super Bowl win. So no point to watch. You tell me a team on their third string quarterback has such a genius coach they beat a “Super Bowl contender ” by 27. Then throw in a manufactured loss so that the fix is not too obvious. And the same teams stink every year. You might be given a false hope with manufactured wins-only to find out the next year team still sucks. The NFL is a corrupt organization.

  125. The problem is the commercials and flags every other play.Every single big play I catch myself looking for the little yellow flag icon to pop up on the screen. Every time a WR doesn’t catch a ball hes throwing his fake flag in the air. Refs are extremely bias look at the Jags/Packers game week 1, the NFL admitted it. The better teams get all the calls and they turn their shoulders to the lesser teams until they earn them. Well how the hell are you going to earn anything when your fighting two opponents on the field. Nothing against the packers but holy cow how do those refs still have a job. This is happening every game every week the better team is going to get the calls, it only takes a couple flags to completely change a game. Fans are sick of it call it the same both ways or don’t call it at all, and stop playing commercial banks every time the ball changes possession.

  126. Well, the Broncos-Panthers, Packers-Vikings and Cardinals-Pats were kind of the only good matchups. ESPN and NFLN have had miserable games.

  127. Too much nfl on tv. We dont need sunday morning games, thursday games and to many teams. The Nfl has oversaturated the market and when we do get games we are prisoners of bad games in our markets. I dont need to see Green Bay, Dallas, the Giants and the Patriots for every prime time Game. Goodell has ruined the Nfl. reduce the season (no exhibition games) reduce the amount of playoff teams and let every game mean more.

    Oh yeah, and fire goodell

  128. Sorry but the NFL is boring. The rule changes, terrible officiating, etc. are a real turn-off. At least college football is still fun to watch.

  129. Man that St Louis market is really missed. I joke, but the NFL did us wrong, and they showed fans all over the country that they don’t care about the fans at all. From massive rule changes to an already good product, to too many commercials. The product is slipping and the league isn’t taking care of its customers.

  130. Oversaturation, bad rule changes, officials too involved in the games, horrendous officiating that is now affecting the outcome of games ( the taunting call on Pryor. The fumble call on Duke), the product on the field sucks, not enough elite talent, too many pass interference calls, Noone know what a catch is…..up until last season, I would watch pregame starting at 9am, watch the 1 and 4 games, post game coverage, then the night game, then more coverage. Every morning I would watch nfl network as well as every night. Last season, I got sick of all the stuff I mentioned above. Now, I watch my team, and that’s about it. Come playoffs, I’ll watch more. But once you stop being addicted to the nfl, you find other things to do with your time. Mark Cuban predicted it.

  131. Way to go guys – keep on kneeling. On a side note I loved all of the American Flags and the thrill of the players playing for their country this weekend at the Ryder Cup.

  132. tavisteelersfan says:
    Oct 4, 2016 5:49 PM

    Just talked to one of those darn millennials (oh to be young again🙂. This guy played football through college. Loves the game. Considered a coaching career path.

    Simple world to him. He does not have cable. None of his friends have cable. He monkeys with free streaming … says it costs him about 10-20 minutes to get himself set up for a game … and then goes to the bar in the playoffs.

    I don’t have cable either, and watch plenty of football. Thursday and Monday night games are usually terrible, so I don’t miss them. Besides, I can listen to the game on the radio if need be.

  133. I’ve switched over to College Football almost exclusively. I get so many more games to choose from. It’s exciting/ much more closer games/ much more upsets. The rules are much easier to understand. They seem to get their reviews/ challenges done in half of the time as the NFL. Just a better product.

  134. i warned and warned that goodell has been destroying the product

    apparently, the only way to bury him is to have the ratings drop

    his lying and treating the customer like a moron, whether it be outright lying like with spygate, ray rice, the cte issue, or framing brady for deflategate?

    throw in the preposterous and constant rule changes by loser turds on the competition committee, it has just been too much

    the smart fans can see right through goodell’s horrendous leadership and corruption trying to do things to maximize revenue while lying and abusing the fans.

  135. Also, laugh all you want, but I think Soccer/Futbol is going to come take some of the viewership, at least the younger ones. With the good job NBC has done with the Premier League, I only see its popularity growing. I see soccer jerseys at work on casual Fridays as much as NFL jerseys now. Those games are done in under 2 Hours! And with shorter attention spans today, that’s a good thing from a marketing/growing your viewership.

  136. Only good things can come from the ratings decline. Owners will bail, they’ll fire Goodell and eventually roll the rules back to 2006.

  137. I watch about half the games that I watched last year. For me the big difference is the poor “oppressed” millionaires disrespecting the veterans, this country and our flag. I don’t care what cause they are trying to champion, disrespecting the veterans and they flag the lay their lives on the line to defend is wrong way to go about it.

  138. Warning: I’m a Pats fan, but I’m reasonable.
    In no particular order the reasons are:
    *Phil Simms.
    *Thursday night games.
    *Too many commercials.
    *Horrible, inconsistent officiating.
    *Phil Simms
    *Ticky tacky pass interference calls (even when they help your favorite team).
    *Deflategate penalty worse than Ray Rice brutally attacking his wife. And I’m sure the league saw the tape.
    *Phil Simms
    Dallas & Washington penalized for violating the cap in an uncapped year (????).
    *Bountygate penalties completely out of line.
    *The league even greedier than the players (stealing from a players fund?)
    *The Peyton Manning worship/free HGH escape.
    *3 days for the draft.
    * The constant PC “discussions” re the kneeling.
    *Phil Simms
    That’s the short list.

  139. My vote is for the commercials, they add more every year. I record my team’s game and watch it later, fast forwarding thru the commercials. Too many Pay-a-ton commercials, too, I hit the mute button whenever I hear his voice. I never watch the night games, I’m an East Coaster and have to get up at 5 am to go to work, so much for “East Coast bias”, those games are geared for the West Coast audience no matter which teams are playing.

  140. Who came up with TWO Monday night football games?

    Players and the Union who bad mouth the company they work for. Keep saying how horrid football is and guess what, some people might start believing you and supporting your position by not watching.

    Playing football for most players is FUN. It’s the culmination of God given talent, preparation and then testing yourself against the best in the world. That goes for a lowly lineman or the highest paid QB. If that was the message from players, sharing the joy they feel, fans would be more engaged. Now you feel like you have to hate management to support what the players with the loudest megaphones are spouting.

    Cut commercials in half but charge twice as much. Revenue neutral but would increase viewership.

  141. FIFA has more credibility than the NFL and the corrupt Full 32…extorting communities to subsidize billionaire stadiums, forcing a 100+ commercials down viewers throats every telecast, seat licenses, $12 beers, $50 parking, $5000 Super Bowl tickets…….and an unwatchable product. Factor in the anthem protests……Hell NO NFL.
    And the corruption involved to frame the Patriots……bye bye NFL

  142. They’re not playing Football, they’re playing TV Football. The networks and the league have conspired to change the game so as to “monetize” it as much as possible. Now people are sick of it. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Players making millions a year and disrespecting our national anthem, expecting me to watch it, well, they’re all dead to me. See ya…

  143. The begining of the end of the NFL began in 2005, when Bill Polian forced the competition committee to interpret defensive penalties differently, thereby resulting in a drastic increase in defensive penalties and offensive scoring. Remember when it was rare for a qb to throw for 4000 yards and 30tds? The game changed for marketing purposes, for the fantasy geeks, for the casual fans, for the tv ratings. That was the worst thing that happened to the game.

    All the bad press with Goodell put it over the top. They have changed the game to arena ball and fans don’t trust the league or the commissioner. The worst commish in the history of pro sports has done a number on the game!

  144. How about the old commercial, kickoff, commercial sequence. Nothing but pure greed. Erodes the core fan base like many of the things mentioned

  145. I’ve been saying it for years: the Thursday night game is ruining the NFL. It ruins football pools and fantasy leagues, because people can’t remember to get their picks in and make their lineup changes in time. The game itself is usually sloppy because the players didn’t get enough rest, and the matchups are usually brutal as well. They had enough trouble scheduling good Monday Night games to begin with. Too many crappy teams/games in primetime. Stupid. Mark Cuban was spot on.

  146. I have very little interest anymore in any games other than my team. Way too many commercials, poor officiating, way too complicated rules, inane announcers who don’t do their homework and don’t know what they are talking about ( I am sick to death of Spiro Dedes and Solomon Wilcotts). or God’s sake if a receiver has possession of a pass and gets two feet down it’s a damn catch!
    The NFL has overexposed itself and with all the problems and more, fans are getting turned off.

  147. The NFL is imploding due to the corrupt buffoons who are running it. I was an avid fan for 60 years but stopped watching this year.

  148. So many people I know root for teams outside of where they currently live (we are a mobile society). It is rare to be able to see your team on a National broadcast.

    Perhaps put all games on Sunday Ticket but have the base cost be free for one game viewing a week.

    I think it is particularly important for teams playing poorly to make it easy for their fans to stick with them during the tough times and not lose interest.

  149. The rating drop is to do multiple factors, not just one. 1. Greedy Owners who raise ticket, concession and parking every single year. 2. The perception that the league is fixed or at least certain teams are given favoritism. 3. Roger is a bad commish. 4. There are too many bad teams in the league. 5. and finally players disrespecting the flag.

    I am only watching Eagles game this year and no longer glued to the TV to watch everyday.

  150. It’s REDZONE AND FANTASY. Plain and simple.

    After 7 hours of commercial free gambling, not many people are willing to sit through a flag and commercial filled production.

    Mark my words. REDZONE will be discontinued within a year if this trend keeps up.

  151. College football is far more entertaining. They handle replays and penalties quicker with less commercials. The game moves alone. The NFL is like watching a lumbering dinosaur heading to its death.

  152. Keep kneeling and we will turn it off. We don’t have to watch individuals who disrespect our country. Enough is enough..

  153. For the money Cable TV is not what it’s cracked up to be: Football or no Football!

    I’ll read about the games later and save the $100 a month by not having Cable: Ratings are probably down on more than just Football. Think about it, it’s just economics; it’s about the disposable income that doesn’t exist.

  154. The NFL should go to a fully PPV model on every carrier including an app on every smart TV, phone, Roku, Apple TV, and any other internet streaming capable device I can’t think of. I would much rather pay a’la Carte for the games I want than a DirecTV yearly bill of $300.

    Keep it simple, stupid.

  155. I used to LOVE NFL football, hell I used to love all football. But the networks have wrecked it, THEY are the ones costing themselves ratings. They show the same 8-10 team as much as they can, and its become boring. (after 6 years, I finally have the NFL ticket again and can watch whatever game I want) Too many commercials..WAY too many and too long. Did they really need to add that commercial during replay challenges a few years ago ? How about staying with the game and letting the viewers see every camera angle ?? I went to my 1st NFL game in many years this past Sunday in Baltimore (Sorry Ravens fans, Carr lives for those moments ) and the amount of time these players have to stand around waiting for the commercial breaks is crazy…Cant imagine how awful it must be during a Sunday night game in December in Green Bay for these players…muscles get cold like that, and then they pull those cold muscles, and they miss games
    And some of these announcers ..How in the world, is a man who is HATED by so many, he even has many facebook pages dedicated to the hate of him, how is he the top play by play man for fox sports ???!!?!?! I HATE Joe Buck ! Cant stand him, Most likely wont watch a game he is doing unless its the Raiders, and lucky for me, he does mostly NFC East and Packer and seahawk games, because once again, the network only shows those 8-10 teams.
    AND, and this really confuses me..I live in NJ and we get both Philly and NY channels Now if you are a network paying BILLION$ of dollars$ for the right to broadcast these games, then why in the world wouldn’t you have a double header EVERY SUNDAY ?? But instead run an infomercial ??

  156. NFL ratings did nothing but climb up and up and up still more in recent years.

    Eventually, they were gonna start dropping. I don’t see what all the panic is about.

  157. Have a 5-minute rest between quarters and block all the commercials then & at halftime. No TV timeouts or cuts to commercial at any other point in the game. Simplify the rules & stop using replay to review every catch.

  158. ….and the NFL is surprised? They collect as much money as they can from the networks by spreading their product to different networks. The networks then gauge the viewers by charging exorbitant amounts to watch their specific product. (Sunday Ticket, ESPN). Ends up costing so much that people just won’t pay to watch. ESPN is the worst. I wanted to watch last night but couldn’t get the game because it was on ESPN, and I’m not paying that greedy network just to see Monday Night Football.

  159. Zebras are ruining game. Just ask Niners after bogus roughing call and numerous non calls on Cam. I’m done I’m going to NHL where they give 100% every game!

  160. pfatalbert says:
    Oct 4, 2016 7:31 PM
    I’ve switched over to College Football almost exclusively. I get so many more games to choose from. It’s exciting/ much more closer games/ much more upsets. The rules are much easier to understand. They seem to get their reviews/ challenges done in half of the time as the NFL. Just a better product.

    This. Oh and the commentators are better.

  161. Ratings are not down because of deflategate. The superiority complex of pats fans was funny for awhile. But it’s time to get over it. Non pats fans don’t really care. Brady has about one more season left before he’s done.

    Americans are inundated with politics right now; football was a great escape from that. Now it is not.

    Some players volunteer for big brothers and big sisters; or make a wish foundation on there off time or even travel overseas to visit troops in the off-season. some players kneel during the national anthem when they are suppose to be working representing their organizations.

    Generally all fans like the former group and a large group of fans hate the second group. This second group is still watching their team just not the other games.

  162. I know that either Jon Gruden or Joe Buck will make me less likely to watch a game that doesn’t include a team with which I have a rooting interest. Can’t stand those two.

    I also think that fantasy sports, especially the daily versions, have pushed fans to root for players and not teams. With that in mind, you don’t need to watch entire games, but just need to check the net to see if your guys scored.

  163. The reason there are so many commericals is that the networks have to recoup some of the money they are losing because they overpaying the league. Unfortunately that is not going to change. It will be interesting to see if this continues what will happen when these tv contracts expire after 2021. Being from St. Louis, I lost interest in the NFL after the Rams left. Billionaire owners do not care about the fans (full ticket prices for pre-season games for instance). I like the NFL propoganda commercials: “Football is Family.” More like “Football is Money.” Enos Kroenke stated that Los Angeles is the gateway to Asia and South America. These owners are so arrogant they think this deteriorating product will fly outside the U.S.

  164. Absolutely amazing. The article did not mention the players disrespecting the American Flag even once. All mentions are of rules changes, quality of play, yada, yada. Get real folks. It’s the players protest against America. One comment said ” the core audience will remain steady, just the casual watchers that come and go” No way. I’ve been a ‘core watcher’ since 1955, but have not seen even one score of any game since Colin Kaepernick decided his ‘itty bitty feelings’ are more important than the game, and the Commissioner allowed that crap. I may never watch another game, even if they do decide it’s a game, not a platform for political hatred of the country. It’s American football, it’s an American game, played by many America haters. When the millionaire players start to hurt in the pocketbook, they might decide they like American better than they thought they did. Get them the hell out of the league and the Americans can resume the American game. Til then, no watching.

  165. there have been rule changes in the past and Goodell has been the commissioner for years. There is only one new variable here and that is BLM attacking the national anthem, as John McLaughlin would have said…BYE BYE

  166. Tinkering with the rules; taking the very basics of the game out because of the risk of injury is watering down the game and making guys go someplace else. Some of you idiots kept saying the league is bulletproof but now your learning that you can drive fans away with the wussification of pro-football.

  167. The NFL used to be about the game of football.

    The NFL is now much closer to the WWF. It just reeks of greed and cheating. I predict the Rams “miraculously” win a Super Bowl within 3-5 years in the country’s second largest TV market. Coincidence? LOL

    Grossly inconsistent officiating and rules.

    Goodell is clearly a puppet. Owners like Stan Kroenke could care less about the actual sport.

    Have you seen the LAUGHABLE opening on SNF???

    Where did pro football go??

  168. I think it’s mainly the way our culture has changed. The NFL has been so focused on attracting “new” fans that by doing so they have lossed true lovers of the sport. For example: Fantasy football has taken over to the point where even while a game is being watched people spend more time tracking players from other games. There’s no need to watch the games anymore when you can feel like a winner by winning your fantasy game. It’s total over saturation. I can’t even imagine if your a fan of a crappy team, for 16 weeks you get to hear how crappy they are. In the early 90’s as a kid I use to long for the next Sunday to come so I could watch or read about (blackout games due to attendance) my crappy Pats play. There was hope in my heart. Today it’s easy to fill that void with something else. We live in a fast paced “now” society.

    The changes that have reduced practicing is apparent on the field. Belichick has said for years that the season doesn’t start till week 8. That’s because of the lack of preparation that teams and players use to get. I’ve seen highschool players tackle better than many of the players in games I’ve watched. Are pro athletes that bad or just not conditioned to play the game due to lack of reps. How do you ever expect a head coach to ever implement his program when you reduced the amount of time he has to implement it. That coach will be fired before its put in place. And we wonder why the teams that have been stuck at the bottom stay there?

    I love this game but I miss the days of just watching where we didn’t officiate the game to confusion. How as a parent do you teach your kid to watch when every game throws you questionable penalties you can’t explain. I feel the owners and commish have been so money hungry that the product has been watered down. A few years ago I would watch every game available, now I watch my team and keep track of scores of other games. Do they really think anyone would want to watch 15 hours a week or more of the product they produce.

  169. And those Thurs Uni’s are awful too. Some games look like XMAS elves playing football.
    Another example of a silly money grab.

  170. Way too many commercials.
    League/Refs deciding games … seriously the Giants game was a joke. If you are calling PI … you called them on both teams. The holding the weak Viking OL did went unnoticed by the refs … lol.
    I guess the league wants the Vikings in the playoffs with that new stadium.

  171. Not watching because
    My team sucks (Miami)
    Players on my team kneel
    Players around the league are allowed to kneel
    Goodell does nothing about it-but he will not let the Cowboys honor the fallen Officers.

  172. Adverts adverts adverts. Just constant adverts. This injury report is brought to you by blah blah blah.

    Al Michaels mentioning about 5 sponsors while looking at another view of the city. Bought to you by blah blah blah. Even he sounds bored by it all.

    How much money is enough? Obviously it will never be enough especially when you have billionaire owners asking the tax payers for money to build stadiums for there toys. Funny that especially as the owners probably pay as little tax as they can thanks to creative accounting.

  173. Get rid of half the rules against the defense and stop blowing obvious calls. Idiots are ruining my Sundays and ruining the league. When you watch the Steelers get every single call against the Bengals and even the ones that make Mike Tomlin snicker on the sideline that decide the games you kind of feel like giving up because it feels rigged. It might not be but it feels like it and you want to give up. Every mediocre player makes more money in one year than most of us make in twenty years or a lifetime it is hard to root for that. Used to be a team could live and compete without a star QB but not anymore. Makes the rest of the team part of the game feel worthless.

  174. BLM toothpaste is out of the tube. Nothing can now reverse the decline in fan support. The decline will accelerate as the false premises protests continue and/or intensifies on patriotism.

  175. Another reason (for me, at least) is I don’t like having politics/social issues mixed in with sports. I watch sports to get away from that stuff.

  176. Way to many rules and not for the better..personal foul for shooting a imaginary bow n arrow plus they tinkered with the basic rules of the game like catching the ball its 50/50 no one knows what is a reception or not and the refs all have there own definition so each game and every ref crew have there own idea if its a catch or not…and personal foul for horse collar tackle are you kidding me ? you cant sack a QB low or high but it depends how tall the QB is to be allowed to hit him high ?? I still watch the games but i can understand why some fans are frustrated as every year they add more new rules for all the wrong reasons and im not talking about safety…

  177. Ignoring the fact that there are only about 14,000 Nielsen households(hard for me to believe that this small number is supposed to represent tens of millions of viewers), ratings have been down for everything across the board. I recall when they
    were complaining about the NBA ratings were down including the Finals with the Cavs and Golden State.

    FYI The Rio Olympics ratings were down. I figured the only thing that matters is how the ratings compare to everything else in the current time. The NFL still blows everything else out the water. I don’t think it has anything to do with the anthem because I don’t believe that they have that many racist who are Nielsen households, but if they are then the irony is that would prove that America is an extremely racist country.

  178. The league emphasizes passing, but only a very small number of QBs can do it well. When the average play is a missed toss to a back heading out to the flat, the game just gets boring. I watch RedZone and record SNF and MNF games and zip through commercials and the time between plays.

  179. Just curious-how do these ratings factor in (legal) streaming of games? I only use the various apps-watchESPN, NFL Network app, and so on-to watch the games (I have these channels as part of my cable service, but, believe it or not, the streaming quality is better than the cable quality). I also have the Sunday Ticket streaming service (yay living in an area that allows it!) which I use for the majority of games. Does that sort of viewership get recorded anywhere?

    Legitimately just curious, since I have no clue how these things work.

  180. There are quite a few reasons for it.

    The first is if you want your consumers to want something more you don’t give them more you give them LESS so they are hungrier for it. Right now you have games on Thursdays, Sunday all day, Sunday night and then again on Monday night. It used to be an event to watch a game now we can get it wherever we want.

    Are we sure ratings are actually down? you can watch at the local watering hole, on your phone, mobile devices etc.

    Like it or not I think there is a backlash with the mix of politics and sports. After a long week of listening to that stuff I want 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon to watch a game in peace without hearing about it.

    I also lay some blame with the networks. I think at some point we get enough of the same teams over and over again we get bored with it. And then you have the brutal pre-game shows like ESPN’s. My god I cant watch that.

  181. Teams have lost their Identity, as kids we had our favorite players, now we just get a team set up and in 4 years there
    is a whole new team.
    That same free agency has driven deep into our pockets.
    I have a ticket stub from 1976, it was $9.00, now a nose bleed seat for that same team is over $110.00! and prime seats go for over $1000.00!
    I think the League has forgotten that this is still just a game.
    COME ON 25 Million dollars a year!
    Prices have driven people to other sports like Soccer.

  182. One of the basic laws of economics is “Scarcity Creates Demand.” When anything is overexposed, its value plummets and people stop caring.

    The NFL used to be appointment-TV, now it’s on so much that I can’t keep up with when all the games are on. Sundays at 1:00, Sundays at 4:00, Sundays at 8:00, Monday nights, Thursday nights, Saturdays after college is done, did I miss any? I have to put my team’s schedule in my phone so I know when they play.

  183. Bringing politics into the sport is one of the biggest reasons for me.

    One year we had to listen/read about bullying in the Dolphins organization.

    Then we had to hear ad nauseam about how the name of a really bad football team (Redskins) is bad for your health.

    Then we had deflate gate, and now the national anthem protests.


  184. Making the game pass-happy has changed the nature of the game, and put too much on importance on the QB position. 4,000 yards used to be an achievement, now it’s practically a baseline. Instead of watching a team game, it often feels more like a battle between QB’s.

    CTE has also changed the nature of the game, but that had to be done. The other stuff is still within the control of the league. I think the right balance is when there are multiple paths to success, now basically you have to draft a QB at the top of the draft, and hope for the best.

    Except for the Chargers, who have a great QB and still suck…

  185. Well, I contributed my two cents, but had my comment deleted because I was critical of the girl ref’s call this weekend and called the fist salute what it appropriately is…the intense *dislike* of people based on their lack of melanin content.

  186. Really, I think it’s a lot of things and the effects are cumulative. There may be different things that tip the scale, but I think we all basically agree on most things. Commercials, penalties, offense, defense, protests, officiating…

  187. The NFL has worked to obtain the moniker, “The No-Fun League”. This is what they wanted what with all the silly fines because players celebrate scoring a touchdown. They don’t want players to show ANY kind of emotion on the field. That becomes very stale after a while. Fits that ratings are down–this is supposed to be ENTERTAINMENT! Dumb owners.

  188. It really comes down to the basics economics of supply and demand. The supply has been increased, and the demand (due to the aforementioned politicization, expense, rule changes, etc) has decreased.

    Similar to what is happening with declining oil prices. There is a glut of supply, but cars are becoming more efficient.

  189. My curiosity led me to search NCAA ratings. According to a few sources, the NCAA’s ratings have been consistent with previous years. So, it isn’t the game itself causing the NFL to see decreased audience size. There are other reasons as articulated by other commenters here.

  190. It’s become politicized by liberals. They want to systematically infect every facet of our culture. They can’t just let us watch a movie or a game without their propaganda.

    It probably started with changing QB rules to help black running QBs. It’s gotten them 1 SB with Wilson. The absurdity of a rule where you can just throw the ball away if you’re out of the pocket.

    Then we had Bob Costas (politics at NBC has spread to sport) demanding gun control at the SB a few years back. Of course it’s been downhill since then.

  191. Teams cheat to win. (not just the Pat’s we have had plenty of other teams cheat)

    Nobody has cheated as much as the Patriots have. Belichick (and Ernie Adams, his sidekick) should have been banned from the NFL years ago.

  192. Look at the NCAA. They are NOT getting reduced ratings….in fact, they are probably at or above where they have been in previous years. Why? Because they have a superior product, and they won’t allow all these BS social protests because it is against the rules of the associated institution of higher learning. The exception was Missouri when they started all this BLM BS….their viewership plummeted…and the NCAA stepped in and put a halt to it.

    Take a lesson NFL. Get rid of Goodell, put a halt to individualist “protests”, and take the commercials away from already substandard announcers.

    People will come back. But unfortunately, the NFL will not change…and we as the viewing public will suffer.

  193. It seems like the NFL is becoming like little league sports now..gotta make sure everyone gets a trophy. Typical, no one can stand success so they have to change the rules to punish the teams that can successfully field a good team every year, and give advantages to the loser teams and some of them STILL can’t figure it out. The NFL is tax exempt yet taxpayers fund the palaces they play in, yet the average fan can’t even afford to go anymore and the Super Bowl? Jeez, why not just have the Oscars there too with all the celebrities who are fans of this years “flavor of the month ” team, when 5 years ago they were die hard fans of that years “flavor”.

  194. It’s all on Roger and his incompetence.

    I used to be NFL-crazy but Roger Goodell ripped my love of the game from me. Basically, now I only watch Patriots games. The last Super Bowl? I didn’t watch, for the first time in over 30 years.

    Can Roger, then I watch.

  195. daringhart13 says:
    Oct 5, 2016 12:35 AM
    The NFL used to be about the game of football.

    The NFL is now much closer to the WWF. It just reeks of greed and cheating. I predict the Rams “miraculously” win a Super Bowl within 3-5 years in the country’s second largest TV market. Coincidence? LOL
    I told my wife the exact same thing when they moved. The Rams would “suddenly” turn it around and be a contender –
    its all about the money.
    Saints – win their first SB right after the city was devastated.
    Manning “wins” last year, total joke
    and it goes on and on…
    complete BS.

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