After arrival of Rams, TV ratings decline in Los Angeles

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The NFL returned to America’s second-biggest television market after a two-decade absence in 2016, but that didn’t result in more people watching the NFL.

In fact, the NFL on FOX, the network that shows most of the Rams’ games, saw a decrease in its TV ratings in the Los Angeles market for 2016.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the 12 games shown by the Los Angeles FOX affiliate in 2016 reached, on average, 8 percent of L.A. households. In 2015, the Los Angeles FOX affiliate reached, on average, 8.3 percent of L.A. households. (The one Sunday Rams game shown on CBS this season also declined from CBS’s 2015 L.A. average.)

That’s a small decrease, not unusual for a season in which TV ratings were down across the board — especially early in the season. Later in the 2016 season the NFL’s TV ratings rebounded, but by then the Rams were already out of contention, so there was scant interest in the Rams.

Unsurprisingly, NFL ratings also declined in St. Louis in 2016. The NFL surely expected to lose TV viewers in the market the Rams left, but losing viewers in the Rams’ new market as well has to be a concern.

A huge part of the NFL’s Los Angeles television problem is that the Rams were a bad team and a boring team. Perhaps next year, with a new coach, the Rams can be competitive and compelling, and the viewership numbers will increase.

But Year One in Los Angeles was a big disappointment on the field, and a disappointment in the TV ratings as well.

87 responses to “After arrival of Rams, TV ratings decline in Los Angeles

  1. I live in LA. As a Philly transplant, I could count on Fox to televise 3 or 4 Eagles games during the season. This year, I watched Red Zone or went to a bar. No reason to watch that Rams team this season.

  2. Hire a coach that is not a complete phony and an all time loser and you will get ratings.

  3. I Live in Los Angeles and thank God for the NFL Ticket. Poor People were forced to watch Rams Games week after Week on Fox when they Had waaay better games Avalable. Stop cramming Rams games down our throats and put on Better and more Competitive games

  4. Lack of interest was a big reason the Rams left LA in the first place. It’s wishful thinking for the NFL to believe that the city will be more interested now than they were then.
    The best thing the NFL owners could do is dump Roger Goodell. That’s probably just wishful thinking on my part.

  5. So what you’re saying is that when supply (of televised games) is low quality, demand will fall.

    Shocking.

    Expect a call from the Nobel Economics Prize people any day now…

  6. I assume Fox used to air the most interesting game available in the LA market, so if anything they should have lost more market share forcing people to watch the Rams.

    They’ll develop something resembling a fan base but they will have the same problems they had 20-30 years ago that caused teams to leave LA in the first place.

  7. The ownership crony crew slapped each other’s backs on how smart they were putting the putrid Rams back in LA.

    Hilarious! TV ratings worse off with a team finally back in LA? The league owners actually made things worse by putting a stink bomb of a team back in town!!

    News flash: The Rams suck and are ratings poison no matter where they play!

    Cronyism is only concerned for the entrenched interests, not the product or consumer.

  8. Nothing a $2 Billion stadium can’t fix.
    It’s obvious people don’t want to watch on TV! They want to pay $500/ticket to GO to the game! Duh!

    Don’t worry, the NFL has it’s finger on the pulse of America, and knows what America wants.

  9. I’m not accusing anyone of anything but will any of us really be surprised if at some point in the future we read about the league “influencing” something (coaching hires, trades, schedule, officials assigned to games, etc.) to improve the Rams on field performance?

  10. kaepernick? election year? player showboating? take your pick as to why the NFL’s tv ratings have tanked this season in LA or anywhere else.

  11. Take heed Chargers, this is your future. The city does not want you, the TV ratings will surely be pathetic as is the team. Hey, Deano, you sure you still want to make that move. Big fish in a little pond in SD, you’ll be a guppy in the ocean in LA.

  12. Can’t wait till they open Kroenke’s palace to lame crowds and horrible football. Nithing will say FAILED BUSINESS PLAN louder than apathy from a flatlining LA sports fanbase.

  13. I’LL SAY IT AGAIN… California is not a football state.

    Sure… many good teams, players, coaches, and fans reside or are exported from California… BUT… the football atmosphere in comparison to the Midwest, Southeast, and South is embarrassingly underwhelming.

    California is a diverse and beautiful place.
    If I lived in California… I would find so many more interesting options for my spare time than sitting around and watching television.

  14. The Rams need a new owner first and foremost.

    None of Kroenke’s pro teams have ever been worth a dried turd.

  15. People in LA have never liked the NFL. At least to the extent you’d expect for a city of that size. True fans watch regardless of how bad their team it’s

  16. Have you tried watching an NFL game lately? It is so boring for the most part. NFL red zone is all anybody really needs, just shows actual game action with zero commercials.

  17. There’s a reason for “East Coast Bias.” Fans are more knowledgable. We care much more for our teams. We’re intense and we live and die with each and every play.

    Out west, there’s a laissez faire attitude toward sports teams. If they win they win. If they lose, eh…it’s only sports.

  18. Why does this surprise anyone? The Rams are NO different than when Georgia owned the team. The only thing that changed when the Rams moved back to L.A., was that the people who have transplanted to L.A., lost the “extra” television game. Nobody here even watched the Rams on St. Louis. This was “forced” down L.A.’s throat, and the “same ‘ol” Rams fans from the old days, cannot support this “garbage” of a team. Now, S.D. is possibly coming? Is the NFL smoking what they keep from the players? This is a worse situation than that when the Rams and Raiders both left in the middle of the night. Billionaires, conspiring, in trying to “milk” the local football fans, out of their hard earned dollars. Hopefully, the Rams and NFL lose their ass, over this pathetic money grab. I’m a Bronco fan, so I could care less whether or not Football thrives here. My main disappointment is that the famed “Hollywood Park” was destroyed/torn down, to make way for the “unchanged” LAMS.

  19. “Is it worse to be in the primary market of a bad team or the satellite market of a superior rival?” – Browns fan in Columbus

  20. People in LA have never liked the NFL. At least to the extent you’d expect for a city of that size. True fans watch regardless of how bad their team it’s

    ————————————————

    People in LA like the NFL. Just not the crappy local team.

    It really is true that a lot of people in LA are from somewhere else. And we kept our old favorite teams when we moved here. So we’d rather watch them than the designated home team, especially when that home team sucks balls.

    And adding the lousy Chargers to the lousy Rams will really crater the ratings here.

  21. “I’LL SAY IT AGAIN… California is not a football state.”

    California has among the worst fans in the country. Their main goal is to go to whatever game, concert or other performance they’re seeing, get some selfies they can text out to their buddies showing how cool they are, and get out of the stadium at halftime once they’re done posing.

  22. If only history could have told us that the LA market doesn’t care about football, this could have all been avoi… oh wait.

  23. Well to be fair it could have a lot to do with Jeff Fisher. If the Rams get a real coach and become comptitive things could change

  24. good lord. and they are gonna build a 2.6 billion dollar stadium complex for these clowns? and in 3 to 5 years when the newness has worn off, only half the stadium will be filled..what a waste.

  25. Word is they showed more Peyton Manning commercials than other markets

    You must have been a test tube baby & probably a Patroit fan.

  26. Hahahahaha!!! Can’t wait to see the ratings from this weekends playoff games. I’m sure it’ll improve once the playoff race is expanded to 16 teams. That’s alright owners, keep Goodell in there he knows what he’s doing!

  27. The league doesn’t seem to realize that with the demographics in LA today there’s more soccer fans than football fans.

  28. California not a football state? Listen I don’t pontificate about the status of your fly-over trailer park so don’t speak about things you don’t know.

    Our fans are NO different than yours. There’s some weird tribalism infecting our country but save for accents there’s nothing that truly separates us. Get off your East coast/Midwest/Southern high horse. When teams win their ratings go up when the suck they go down, not rocket science.

    With the emergence of social media, fantasy football, streaming etc. the antiquated pass time of sitting in front a tv all Sunday is gone. Everyone not just Californians are finding better stuff to do on Sundays.

  29. abninf says:
    The league doesn’t seem to realize that with the demographics in LA today there’s more soccer fans than football fans.
    —————–
    LA has more football fans than most NFL cities have people! For the NFL, losing a tiny percent of the LA market is like losing the entire city of Cincinnati!

    Nobody wanted to watch the Rams this year. Even the Rams players didn’t want to watch the Rams! Their games were painful. Seriously painful. More painful than girl watching in Kansas.

  30. I think the best solution will be to add another LA team no one will watch. Nfl is slowly ruining their golden goose

  31. For the sake of San Diego can you hold off on these articles until the Chargers move to LA.

    Whatever gets rid of a slumlord owner faster is what San Diego needs.

  32. If LA expects a winner to stay interested, I can’t wait till they meet the Spanos family.

  33. This is definitively a blow to San Diego ownership. If Los Angelenos could care less for the Rams, what’s going to happen when the Chargers arrive in town. Are they going to use San Diego ratings to prop up LA numbers.

  34. Good thing LA has a high pick thanks to their awful record. Perhaps a highly touted QB can rejuvenate the fan base. Oh wait…

  35. If Chargers move to LA CBS will be lucky to get similarly poor ratings &will be playing to a half empty stadium

  36. “California is a diverse and beautiful place.
    If I lived in California… I would find so many more interesting options for my spare time than sitting around and watching television.”

    LOL

    As someone who lived half his life in the cesspool known as California you couldnt be more wrong.

    Sure you got the beach, mountains, disneyland, etc but that is not everyday life. Everyday life is dodging the car thiefs, muggers, gang bangers, and drive bys.

    Only the celebs and super rich live that glamorous cali lifestyle the media portrys. To everyone else its a crime ridden, smog infested toliet.

  37. I’m feeling nice today, I say let California secede from the country once and for all. We won’t miss you Liberal know it all’s. It’s either that or fall into the Pacific after the big one.

  38. I’m from LA, the problem in LA is that we have too many East coast and Mid West fans who pretty much will never ever root for our teams and there are lots of them here. Even when they have kids here and grandkids they keep their alliances. I have friends born and raised in LA, now in their 40’s who root for teams because dad/gandpa rooted of them back in the 60’s when they migrated west. It’s kinda sad really. No mater what you do they will keep their allegiance tot he tea their family rooted for. It shows the most in the NFL cause they only play 10 games, it gets masked in baseball, basketball and hockey do tot he large amount of regular season games. These transplants move here, jack up rent costs, take jobs, add to traffic, hate on immigrants and native Californians, just here to steal our sun and weather. Oh and they brag about how good their food back home is, sorry we Californians don’t care for a bunch of boiled noodles and pasta sauce, boring.

  39. Years ago Beverly Hills 90210, don’t judge me for knowing this, had a short scene where the 2 main male characters were talking about not having a team in L.A. anymore. One of the guys said something to the affect of, “No it’s better now, we get the national double header every week.” THAT’s how L.A. really feels about the NFL. They just want to watch good games. The home of the team means less than the quality.

  40. Sorry, but those who have been paying attention for the past 15 years have been saying this… well, for 15 years: LA is a unicorn and the NFL is still chasing that tail that doesn’t exist.

    All of the stars showed up until they realized they weren’t going to be paid to be there. The rest?

    MEH!

    One of the most idiotic moves by the NFL yet. They would’ve made more money (and loyalty) by putting a full time team in London.

  41. Cute. Since I get DirecTV east and west coast Fox (NFC) and CBS (AFC) that means I am forced to watch Giants (I’m okay with that) and stupid Jets in early afternoon and now Rams and Chargers? Hopefully other games with better teams will also be available. And I am tired of watching same teams on NBCs “Football night in america” series (keep the true contenders, get rid of pretenders like Colts, Broncos, Bengals, Cardinals, Panthers, Vikings, etc.)

  42. The fact is, most people in Los Angeles are from somewhere else and they already have a favorite team from where they came from. Go into a sports bar and every game is on with the fewest people sitting in front of the one showing the Rams. I used to see my team’s games shown on local LA Fox several times a season until the Rams came back.

  43. Welcome to the “let’s dis all things LA” chat room. Geezus. It’s like LA stole your girlfriend and instead of moving on, you’re stalking. Remember, LA got their team *back* (someone in StL just screamed “omg, they were in Cleveland first!!”). Whatever, still won. A matter of fact, lots of dudes hate losing to the Cali bros. But if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! That’s why you all move here and almost drown in the Pacific trying to learn to surf the first weekend you’re in town. Then ask where you’re from, and the sweat starts pouring down the forehead–you only wish you could say Encino! As for me and the guys that gather to watch Rams football on Sunday at a bar or at the coliseum (you know, when we can take a break from all of the awesomeness SoCal has to offer), we’re still glad to have the Rams back. And happy to welcome all of the transplants/haters with open arms…but no tube riding lessons.

  44. The answer to bad ratings anywhere in the country is to broadcast Patriots games. They are constantly in BIG games, and they are generally close hard fought games. There. I fixed it for you.

  45. There’s a reason for “East Coast Bias.” Fans are more knowledgable. We care much more for our teams. We’re intense and we live and die with each and every play.

    Out west, there’s a laissez faire attitude toward sports teams. If they win they win. If they lose, eh…it’s only sports.
    ————————

    Dude, Professional Football is a Midwestern Invention. East Coast Bias is only due to someone realizing there is money to be made off of someone elses thing. Have you ever watched the NFC or AFC North? There is a reason the Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio rather than Greenwich, Connecticut.

    Get over yourself. Being a Cali native myself, the reason it doesn’t work is because of apathetic owners, when you take Davis, Spanos, York, and let that stew marinade for 40 years what do you expect to happen!? Apply your superior football acumen for one second and ponder that BRUH.

  46. Last June I flew into LAX and transferred to domestic and had to kill several hours. I saw hundreds of people wearing Rams gear, like the percentage you’d see in Boston next weekend. There’s plenty of excitement for the team. Ratings were down everywhere and the year was disappointing in a lot of ways for the Rams. Billionaires demonstrably know how to chase dollars so don’t think for a moment that slack ratings or attendance means they aren’t enriching themselves, or that there aren’t many Rams fans.

  47. @rikko1112 – It is “only sports”, regardless of what coast you’re on. If you’re so intense that you “live and die with each and every play” please stay off the streets. We don’t need anymore road rage shootings.

  48. So the NFL had a brilliant plan to move the team with the worst record in the NFL over the last 10 years to a front running market? Who’s idea was that? In the process the NFL lost a pretty good market in St Louis. The NFL keeps making super incompetent moves.

  49. You want local ratings in LA? Better have a winning team. Without that, LA isn’t interested. There are too many other things to do in that town besides watch a bad football team.

  50. The Rams are in L.A. because Stan Kroenke told the rest of the owners he would sue the league if they didn’t let him move. Meanwhile, the Chargers, the league’s second choice are going up there as well. Both Kroenke and the Spanish family are naive thinking anyone except hardcore fans really want to watch their bad teams.
    And the Raiders, simply one of the best teams in football when they have Derek Carr, were left on the outside looking in at L.A. Good move, NFL. Enjoy Kroenke’s beautiful new, empty building.

  51. Um, anyone who’s paying attention to the LA census figures should figure out it is more of a future soccer town than football. Sanctuary cities baby!

  52. People had to see how the Ram’s stunk things up in St.Louis for 10 yrs. How did the LA fans expect anything better just cause they moved back to LA. The team has one of the worst owner’s in the league. Does not know how to build a winner makes worst decisions, poor staff hiring, waiste more money than any team in the league, dont know how to evaluate players.Even the losing St.Louis Rams had a better tv rating than they have in LA now.Well now the LA fans see what us St.Louis had to put up with.

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