Week Six TNF ratings down slightly from 2015

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When is a five-percent ratings drop good news? When other ratings drops had been a lot larger than that.

Via Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily, Thursday night’s game between the Broncos and Chargers generated a 9.9 overnight rating. That’s only a five-percent drop from last year’s 10.4 rating arising from a Week Six loss by the then-undefeated Falcons at New Orleans.

Both games competed against decisive MLB playoff contests. Last year’s Mets-Dodgers NLDS Game Five drew a 5.8 rating on TBS. In 2016, the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS Game Five overnight rating slid to 3.8 on FS1, a 34-percent drop.

The NFL has experienced significant ratings declines in multiple prime-time games, in comparison to the similar slot from 2015. The reason for the drop isn’t clear; it’s likely that multiple reasons are combining to result in reduced TV viewership.

81 responses to “Week Six TNF ratings down slightly from 2015

  1. Someone is bound to make a baseless claim MLB is also down because of NFL players taking a knee.

    I’m guessing everything is down because people are choosing a new show that stars themselves. It’s called Social Media. It’s not for me but I can understand the attraction.

  2. I love my football, but the Thurs night games are horrible. Bad quality in general.

    The NFL better be careful, I think they should scrap Thursdays except for Thanksgiving. Stick to Sunday, and a game Monday night.

  3. I tried to watch. I really tried but there were so many commercials that I became more interested in the high school game that was on ESPN 2.

  4. “You know, 5 percent doesn’t seem so bad.”
    “Mr. Goodell, that translates to 15 million dollars.”
    “My god … I could investigate three different kinds of hypothetical equipment violations with that!”

  5. When I think of football, I think of the love for my hometeam, flags, and commercials. When my team isn’t playing, it’s like watching only flags and commercials. Redzone is the only watchable thing left, and I don’t care enough to pay for it.

  6. First, the general quality of the product isn’t very good. The games are long and littered with challenges, replays, penalties, and commercial breaks that interrupt the game. Officiating has been a big issue for years and isn’t getting better. No one knows what a catch is. For those that play fantasy and gamble, we will always watch the game. For the casual fan, they will only watch their teams game. The product isn’t good enough to draw non fans to watch.

  7. For a bunch of people who quit watching the NFL because of protests, you sure spend a lot of time on NFL sites, commenting on NFL articles, about how you’re not watching football. Nobody cares; just go away already.

  8. If TNF weren’t on broadcast television, their ratings likely would have been about the same as MLB last night.

    Can we compare last night’s TNF game ratings to the same week in 2013? I’ll bet ratings are still way up compared to cable-only telecasts.

  9. I could give two poops about the protests, I’m down on football because of the ridiculous amount of commercials and the constant penalties, interruptions and reviews. The last 27 seconds of the game last night took 5 minutes due to back to back reviews. Kills the momentum of the game. And the officials are just out of control. Can’t enjoy a big play anymore because 50% of the time a flag’s going call it back….so instead of celebrating you’re watching nervously for the first 10-15 seconds after a play to see if it stands. BS.

  10. kindbass says:
    Oct 14, 2016 1:29 PM
    For a bunch of people who quit watching the NFL because of protests, you sure spend a lot of time on NFL sites, commenting on NFL articles, about how you’re not watching football. Nobody cares; just go away already.


    We love the NFL.

    We watch the NFL to get away from everyday politics.

    Do you comprehend?

  11. The last 25 seconds of the game last night is a microcosm of what is wrong. It took 5 minutes to play those 25 seconds because we had to have a review to see if Anderson bobbled the ball on a 3(+/-) yard pass, then we had to have another stoppage because of a wrong spot. I’m over the, “did the ball move a millimeter as he was going out of bounds” BS…and all of the other things that are slowing the game down to a snails pace. Seems like, more often than not, big plays, are getting called back for a penalty, and big pass plays broken up are PI. Add that to the never ending commercials, and there you have it…

  12. I watched first quarter SD went out to early 10-0 lead.

    Fell asleep on couch with TV on. Count it baby!

  13. My best guess is that, regardless of which side of the national anthem issue you are on, fans have always looked to sports as distractions away from the dreary problems facing us in life. Now we are confronted with it while pursuing our “National Past time”. The key word is “past time”. It is to relax, kick back and watch some entertainment.

  14. If I’m half way interested, the game gets recorded and I’ll watch it the next day. I think the Redzone channel has ruined watching an entire game for me unless it’s my team playing. With a recording, you can watch an entire game in 45 minutes.

  15. I agree with bleedingfacemask’s assessment. If you couple that with availability as well, I mean if you don’t live in the region of your team than you either have go to a sports bar to watch the game, stream the game, or purchase the god awful Sunday Ticket. I mean why not make it more assessable where one can just purchase the game or games they want to watch rather than all or nothing.

  16. I think people stopped watching because the NFL carpet-bombed Draft Duel and Fan Kings ads at every conceivable opportunity.

  17. Personally I think people are tuning in less not because of players protesting, but because they’re sick of the NFL’s saturation of military propaganda, billionaire right wing owners screwing over the fans to make a couple more bucks profit, and horrible country music.

  18. tigershark0052 says:

    Oct 14, 2016 1:14 PM
    Because of the anti-American sentiment of the players.


    Which isn’t as bad as “the anti-American sentiment” of people in the stands who talk, laugh, eat, and scream during the anthem.

  19. Honestly, all this crap on the internet is ruining football for me. I can’t watch it without thinking about all the people here and on social media that complain about every little thing and everything is Goodell’s fault and “Erin Rogers” and everyone gets concussions every 5 seconds and some benchwarmer with an afro kneeled for the national anthem and Goodell needs to let players smoke weed…

    You people ruin it for me. So much negativity… it’s like “fans” of the NFL are on the edge of their seat waiting for the league to fail. I can’t watch it without thinking of Vikings fans going after Packers fans like children, even though I assume you are grown men… I can’t watch it without wondering if ratings are down from last year. You people need to shutup and just enjoy the game without complaining about everything and hoping for the NFL’s demise.

  20. Is the commercials and that people watch football on the DVR now. It has nothing to do with the protests which if you stopped watching because of that makes you as thinned skin as can be. The product stops too much. You can’t cheer for a score without a review. The game is no fun now.

    Also less and less people are playing the sport. The ratings will continue to decline. I don’t care why fans really care. Either you like the sport or you don’t.

  21. I’m not a fan of either team, and yet I enjoyed the game – went down to the wire, given the propensity of the Chargers so far this season to throw away games in the 4th quarter.

    That said, the color rush concept is awful – just stop it already! And the whole anthem protest thing is putting me off to the point that I flip to another channel every time they show some player with a raised fist or whatever. Smh.

  22. The biggest turnoff for me is the endless conferences between officials, and the commercials. Regarding the first point, why can’t an official call a penalty, and mark it off? Used to be that way. Now, it’s a meeting every time, even for off sides. Now the second point, the commercials. it is overbearing. There is a commercial between every play. If not an ad, the network is promoting some awful show. I have actually become a fan of the other football. Why can the BPL, that has teams worth as much as NFL teams, play an entire game without commercials? Only stoppages are for injuries or subs. My point ism the NFL does not need so many commercials, they just pound the fan with them because they can.

  23. kindbass says:
    Oct 14, 2016 1:29 PM
    For a bunch of people who quit watching the NFL because of protests, you sure spend a lot of time on NFL sites, commenting on NFL articles, about how you’re not watching football. Nobody cares; just go away already.

    I’m an American and NFL used to be one of my favorite sports. I’m here because im pissed at the ruination of my sport. Get it lady?

  24. pkrlvr says:
    Oct 14, 2016 1:33 PM


    Your comment had not been posted when I submitted mine…Your response was exactly what I was trying to post…They took what could have been an exciting finish and ruined it…

  25. so the left wing media continues to push the “it isn’t clear why ratings are dropping” narrative.
    I am boycotting the games over the disgraceful anthem protests and will continue to do so

  26. Some people will always find something to complain about. Many of those people are under the age of 26 it seems. So go back to your facebook account or your twitter feed and complain there. Isnt that what those silly websites are for? You’re not fooling anybody when you say you’re “done” with the NFL in the comment section on a site like PFT.

  27. Anytime the game is not exclusively on NFL network viewership will be higher. Even on network TV late in the game on a crucial down right before the snap the network went into a commercial for that stupid Matt LeBlanc sitcom followed by a few others. Then they came back and possession was changed. Sure enough the next block of commercials came and they were the same. Who smashed the wrong button in the booth ? Why wouldn’t they realize and correct it ? I was waiting for the movie was “Heidi ” to come on.

  28. The ratings are down. I’ll be those knuckleheads in the front office aren’t even considering the stupid rush uniforms, protests, in-consistencies in punishments, awful officiating, flags on every play, lying to the public, fabricating equipment violations….list goes on and on…

    No, instead, they’re probably saying….”quick, we need another controversy….that’ll boost the ratings!”

  29. People would actually not watch because someone takes a knee before the game even starts?

    Get over yourselves, there are way more important things to be outraged about!

  30. Bad product. Athletes with personal agendas. Way too many commercials. Play by play announcers masquerading as product hawkers.

    Roger Goodell.

    Change all that and the numbers will rise….or simply use all your fandom on your favorite college team.

  31. FYI:

    If you don’t have a Nielsen Box attached to your television, whether or not you are watching has no effect on the ratings.

    Feel free to continue your silent protests, though.

  32. It’s amazing how many of the comments here are complaining about the commercials and replays, etc. Hasn’t it always been like that? Is it just now bothering you? So many people these days have a short attention span, and in the age of Netflix and DVR, if someone has to watch commercials or wait around for a few minutes for a replay, it’s like the end of the world.

  33. What if someone was protesting the anthem over child abuse? Would it change your protest of protest?

  34. Whatever the reason, the fact that people are saying soccer is better entertainment is a huge red flag that the NFL better notice. How did it get this bad?

  35. Many parts of our country are enjoying one of nicest fall weather seasons we have seen in years. Maybe the fact that some of us are enjoying the great outdoors could be accounting for some of the lost ratings.

    Also, I lost fantasy Football in my state due to backwards legislators. I don’t care to watch teams other than my home team this year.

  36. I’m suspicious of the guys who claim they’ve totally abandoned the NFL yet continue to frequent websites that report minutiae only of interest to those watching the games.

    And baseball players aren’t protesting but their ratings are down to. Are people proactively turning away from baseball just in case the players there decide to protest?

  37. Color rush is terrible. And people are actually not watching because of the anthem protests. And did I see the Broncos wearing a throwback helmet last night? I thought you had to wear one helmet all season nowadays; am I wrong?

  38. Just wait until The Walking Dead comes back. Sunday ratings will be awful.

    Monday Night Football used to be a huge event for the week. Now its garbage ever since ESPN took over.

  39. Rdog says:
    Oct 14, 2016 2:10 PM

    It’s amazing how many of the comments here are complaining about the commercials and replays, etc. Hasn’t it always been like that?

    No, in fact..it hasn’t always been like that..did you just start watching football since the inclusion of replay challenges? Or better yet, within the implemented two minute warning rule, where every play is or can be reviewed by the “replay assistant”…the flow of the game is crap, exciting plays are ruined…The games USED to start at 1pm and end before the start of the games at 4pm…seldom did games run past the start of the second game, and that was usually due to OT. Now most of the afternoon games start at 4:25pm so they could fit in more commercials. When you factor in that they shortened the halftime many years ago, that is even more time for commercial breaks.

  40. Likely multiple reasons: Lets see – massive amounts of commercials (sometimes overlapping plays), poor local channel coverage (networks like Fox will override local affiliates and set games to be viewed – even when there is no clear connection to local viewers – like showing Arizona and San Fran in the midwest despite more local teams playing), questionable officiating (still), stupid commentators who spew whatever stupid thing surfaces in their mind, the continual song and dance from the league (and its owners) over issues.

  41. Considering viewership was down over 10% pct., the owners can call this a 50% increase in ratings (just trying to help).

  42. sirmetaphor says:
    Oct 14, 2016 1:33 PM
    NFL will continue losing tens of millions of viewers, until they reprimand their employees for disrespecting something American’s cherish.

    Perfectly said

  43. notoriousbri says:
    Oct 14, 2016 2:03 PM
    Even on network TV late in the game on a crucial down right before the snap the network went into a commercial for that stupid Matt LeBlanc sitcom followed by a few others. Then they came back and possession was changed. Sure enough the next block of commercials came and they were the same. Who smashed the wrong button in the booth ? Why wouldn’t they realize and correct it ?
    It was a “technical difficulties” break. Remember the old days when we saw a black or snowed screen, followed by “We’re having technical difficulties” screen?

    That screen means there’s no content AND no money-making commercials.

    It’s all automated now. If the network’s computer trunk detects no signal from the source, it immediately throws up commercials. When it detects a signal again, it automatically cuts back to the transmission feed.

    Nobody hits a button anymore for this scenario.

  44. The commercials, poor officiating, short weeks/quality of play, color rush, reviews, DFS, rule problems, officiating conferences, red zone channel, other viewing options and weather all existed in previous years. Maybe the focus should be on what’s different or heightened this year. In no particular order; the league office is more involved than ever in the replay/review process, it came to light that the league tried to steal $110M from the players, the relocation of the Rams and new stadium fiascos have highlighted the owners greed, the framegate and Peterson cases have exposed the commissioner as a bald faced liar and he immediately abused the power they secured him with the AJ 4, cte/concussion fiascos coming further to light, some of us now doubt the integrity of game results, more and more people are cord cutting, the protests and the election.
    That’s a long list and only the last 3 can’t be laid directly at the feet of the league office and owners.

  45. This wasn’t the best-quality game, but it was entertaining and interesting all the way to the end. And the uniforms, for a change, looked great (especially San Diego’s).

    Personally, I don’t understand people complaining about Thursday Night Football. Benefits: For people busy on Sundays and Mondays, it’s an extra chance to see a game. For people without cable, it’s another chance to see a game for free (via network or Twitter). I love watching it via Twitter and thus carrying the game with me wherever I go, for free. That makes me care more about and be better connected to the NFL’s product.

    I like the option of TNF. If the game’s bad, that’s not a problem with Thursday, that’s a problem with the NFL.

  46. Simple solutions: Injuries? Take away the pads and cleats. You won’t get the jarring hits or amazing cuts that lead to TDs. You also won’t get scrambled brains or torn ACLs either. And they can still tackle! No timeouts allowed to be used before 5 minutes left in the 2nd or 4th quarters. Too many men on the field? QB confused? Too bad, you get a 5 yard penalty. Relax the constant defensive holding calls, allow more contact. Relax the offensive holding calls, allow (a little) more holding. Either streamline the challenge process or get rid of it. Simplify the rule book, two hands on the ball and two feet down are a catch, no more “football move”. And make being an official a full time job, with around the year training. Shouldn’t they invest in such things anyway? I doubt the my first idea would ever happen, but why not the others?

  47. And the one thing soccer has on football, they have figured out ways to advertise without going to commercial 5 times a quarter. Have a sponsor with it’s name always in frame, and only go to commercial twice a quarter.

  48. “The reason for the drop isn’t clear; it’s likely that multiple reasons are combining to result in reduced TV viewership.”

    Not clear? I guess if you’re Hillary drone, it would be a difficult thing to understand.

  49. The NFL no longer connects with middle America. It’s time to bring back Tebow. He is beloved in what east and west coast elites call flyover country.

  50. HOCKEY is on!! you want action?? watch some hockey, they are still doing it right. Some commercials, but not after every two or three shots on goal, they let the players play and so much better than watching football….give it a try and watch the NFL ratings drop even further!!

  51. The NFL has changed big time over the years. I think that the older viewer , like myself and majority of Americans. We are fed up with the whole, Look at Me and the just the way the NFL starts their broadcasts. All the songs and the players parading in to some fashion show or whatever pageant. B.S. Just get to the Freakin Game already. I have never seen a Sports league blow its own horn like these clowns……I.e. Rodger and even the refs think they are up for some kind of Emmy award . Directv sucks too.

  52. Goodhell should listen to Mark Cuban – or Bob Dylan and the Traveling Wilbury’s – ‘overexposed, commercialized handle me with care ” …. the drive to sell those Clown err.. Color Rush ‘uniforms’ is a graphic example that Goodhell and company are in for greed, not the good of the game –

    If they gave a rat$ a$$ about anything other than $$$ teams would have a bye before any Thursday games – time for players to heal, coaches to prepare and maybe we’d have a listenable product – can’t watch teams playing in pajamas

  53. Yeah keep fooling yourself Florio or keep up with the corporate line, whichever let’s you sleep at night. But it’s not a decline in NFL TV viewing. It’s a decline in interest, period.
    And yes there are many reasons. But most have their source in Roger Goodell. Get rid of him and things will improve immediately.
    Put in a commissioner who both won’t play owners against each other nor go along with owner’s greed and you will see a growth spurt again, if they don’t delay.
    Delay those decisions and the demise will be permanent. The league won’t die. After all, with all the pressures of our society, we will still need our cake to eat. But it just won’t attract as much interest.

  54. Thursday Night products are just not as good. Players are not 100% on Thursdays physically. Coaches dont have enough time to prepare for Thursdays.

    Its just at 70% product.

  55. The stripes were clearly on the side of the Chargers last night. How many first down calls (and a TD, or 2) were negated by a holding penalty? Seriously?

    too many: flags, commercials, camera angles of Phil Simms
    not enough: football, camera angles of cheerleaders

  56. Lots of folks on this site are good at rooting out un-Americans. Ya know Charles de Gaulle was un-American. I think he was French. I’m un-American. We have a secret handshake.

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