Sunday Night Football ratings crater in comparison to Week 12 of 2015

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The NFL made a brilliant move in Week 12, relegating Patriots-Jets to the afternoon and sliding Chiefs-Broncos into the Sunday night slot. If the league hadn’t exercised its flexing powers, the dip in ratings would have been disastrous.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, the much more compelling, competitive, and exciting five-quarter AFC West battle generated ratings a whopping 27 percent behind last year’s Week 12 Sunday night matchup. The only consolation comes from the fact that, in Week 12 of the 2015 season, the Sunday night game featured the 10-0 Patriots against the eventual Super Bowl-champion Broncos. (Denver won the game in overtime.)

It’s nevertheless a sobering development, given the victory lap that 345 Park Avenue performed after Thursday’s Washington-Dallas game drew the highest regular-season audience in 21 years. Even with the game of the day moved into a prime-time slot, a dramatic loss in audience in comparison to 2015 couldn’t be avoided.

With the election nearly three weeks into the rear-view mirror, Washington-Dallas becomes the aberration; the trend is a shrinkage of TV ratings that at some point may need to be regarded as a new normal.

48 responses to “Sunday Night Football ratings crater in comparison to Week 12 of 2015

  1. What, nobody wanted to watch gunslingers Alex Smith and Trevor Simean throw checkdowns all night and make one bad play after another? They should have just titled the game Whitebread Toast vs. Wheatbread Toast. It would have garnered just as much excitement.

  2. I love football…at least I DID love football. Used to, football game on..I’m watching. But, for some reason this year, if it’s not my beloved Steelers playing, or a game that directly impacts them, I’m finding it very easy to change the channel or play video games…lol. There are many reasons why viewership is tanking…not the least of which is most of the games are just plain awful.

  3. The ending was great last night, but my guess is a lot of people got bored with all the defense and checkdowns. It’s hard to do year-to-year comparisons between different teams with different positions in the standings. E.g., KC’s fan base (and market size) is tiny relative to New England.

  4. Maybe they should contract the league by a couple of teams to increase the quality of play? Nobody outside of the small markets would miss the Jaguars or the Chargers. The quality stinks.

  5. I no longer watch any games but the Pats. I used to watch every possible game that I could. The NFL has lost my viewership in 4 of the 5 slots every weekend. It will continue that way until Goodell is gone or I finally lose any interest at all.

    Keep on not watching people !

  6. Yup fans start drinking at 1:00 and go all the way through till 7:45, couple that with work monday and it doesn’t take a harvard educated economist to figure it out

  7. I’ll say it till I’m blue in the face, it’s all the penalties….ie defensive holding and pass interference. The NFLs “point of emphasis” rules they implemented in 2014.

  8. They would get an immediate and lasting quantum leap in their ratings if that allowed choreographed TD celebrations up to 15 seconds long with as many teammates and props as desired. The No Fun League no more!!

  9. Actually Pats/Jets probably would have gotten better ratings. At least you had Brady and two big market teams to bring in ratings.

    Broncos/Chiefs was a far more competitive game and meant more to the playoff race, but they have no offensive superstars on either team (sorry people don’t watch to see Von Miller or Justin Houston play) and both offenses are pedestrian.

  10. It amazes me that, with all the opinions about the obvious decline in viewership that there are not a lot (and I do mean a lot) more complaints regarding the video coverage. The list is too long, but I do tire of coaches on video as much as they are, when the camera should be elsewhere. And, both sides are responsible for excessive commercials. While the product has probably declined in quality, the decline in presentation is hardly measurable.

  11. I used to watch pregame and post-game shows along with the game. Stopped watching the pregame shows years ago. Now I watch the Pats game and maybe some other games, usually if i’m hoping to see a team lose.

    My interest often is not there any more. Seems that when the commercials come on, I turn to my phone or tablet. Maybe check my fantasy team, game scores……i’ve even found myself reading the news during a long commercial break. THE FREAKING NEWS!

    sometimes when I notice the game is back on, i’ve missed an entire possession and it’s going to commercial break again. There’s just not enough continuity in a typical game to keep a high level of interest when there are other stimuli available at my fingertips. So sometimes I don’t even bother to start with.

    And please, there should be an immediate ban on all Peyton commercials.

  12. Don’t blame it on Roger. It’s the selfish me first players that constantly complain and break the rules.

    Domestic abuse
    Child abuse
    Deflating footballs
    Disrespecting the flag

    The 5% of the players that whine, cheat, disrespect and break the rules are ruining it for the rest of the good players.

  13. Sunday Night ratings are tanking, Thursday Night ratings are a disaster, Monday Night ratings have been going down for years, and even Sunday afternoon games aren’t drawing like they have been ……..

    People can blame oversaturation all they want, but there hasn’t been any expansion in a while, and there have been games on these same nights for years, so now, all of a sudden, there’s “saturation”???

    Roger Gooddell can put a happy spin on there being no decline, but the numbers don’t lie, and before long, advertisers aren’t going to pay as much anymore.

    Let Gooddell explain THAT to his Owners/Employers.

    People are fed up with the heavy-handed hammer that Gooddell has used to drain the positivity out of this league.

    It’s football overseas.

    It’s players being fined for things they were already penalized for on the field.

    It’s rules changing the offense, the defense.

    It’s taking away kick returns.

    It’s punishing good players falsely or unjustly (looking at you, Tom Brady)

    It’s ridiculous punishment for wife-beaters, or seeing Peyton Manning retire with a Super Bowl win while ignoring a major HGH link.

    It’s ROGER GOODDELL’S INSANE ASSERTION OF POWER, that is causing these ratings losses.

    The numbers don’t lie, Commissioner. This didn’t happen under Rozelle or Tagliabue.

    But hey, he’s never listened to fans before, why start now?

  14. I love the low ratings. Well deserved. For me, it’s Roger and deflategate. That was the last straw. Lots to do….having more fun NOT watching.

    Former PACKERS and NFL fan

  15. Not a fan of either team and I thoroughly enjoyed that game, more so the first half since we hardly get to see good defenses at work for long anymore without the game being destroyed by a blizzard of yellow flags. It takes a particularly good matchup to get me to watch an out of market game whereas before I would watch most any game they put on. For me it’s come down to I just don’t quite trust the integrity of game results, it seems like half the calls and almost every action out of 345 Park Ave have an agenda. The game I have always loved is being turned into the WWE by the lowlifes entrusted with it’s stewardship. And Goodell is no Vince McMahon so we don’t even get the laughs, we just get urinated on and told it’s rain..

  16. The goal of Goodell and the owners has always been “parity”

    Parity – i.e. all teams evenly matched – means mediocre football

    When an outlier like Brady takes away other owners “rightful” turn at the Super Bowl, anger, jealousy worthy of framing a guy in order to bench him to give the other teams a fighting chance takes place in this mediocre and corrupt league

    Once Brady retires, Goodell can get what he wants and have the bad ratings become standard and accepted along with parity/mediocrity

    The only good news – every team will truly have a chance each season. As of now some teams are just too good and Goodell hates that.

  17. I’m starting to lose level of interest myself, and can’t pinpoint why.

    To be honest, what the owners do with stadiums makes it more difficult to be as interested.

  18. Anybody with two brain cells to rub together has to be sick of the corruption in the league office. They are despicable. Also sick of people bringing their politics into my game time. Do that on your own time.

  19. 1. Endless Commercials
    2. Ridiculous Penalties (like taunting and celebrating)
    3. Terrible and inconsistent officiating (We still don’t know WTF is a catch).
    4. No fun to watch (stop and go).
    5. Political messages and protesting.
    6. Horrid announcers and color commentators babbling incessantly.
    7. Very bad production quality of the shows.

  20. Cuban was right, 10 years the league will implode, only did he know it would only take a year or two since he said that to actually happen. The NFL is almost unwatchable unless it’s your favorite team that is playing, all of the rule changes and the fact that the NBA is becoming a more legitimate officiated sport is most likely the reasons why. If the owners were smart they would look to ax Roger in the offseason. He has constantly brought shame to the NFL during his tenure.

  21. We don’t need to see three replays of every play unless something unusual happened.

    And it seems more flags = more commercials. Coincidence?

  22. They’ve crammed so many ads into the broadcast, every available moment is filled with them. Then timeouts, fake or real injuries, replay challenges… on top of some really boring and terrible matchups and teams… yawn…

    Halftime is the worst, 95% ads and lame teasers to try to hold your attention through more ads, and very little in the way of entertaining content or analysis. they show glorious slow mo’s of players coming out the tunnels instead of replays of interesting or recent plays…

    If they spent the time building content and analysis instead of teasers and ad placements, I might watch more.

  23. NFL is fixed… The difficulty in interpreting rules makes it perfect for officials to help the team that the NFL DESIRES to win..

    Couple that with Kaepernick and fantasy football explosion!

    Keep on going down, down, down…

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