Chiefs-Patriots TV rating down from previous opening nights

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If the NFL wants to reverse last season’s television ratings decline, it’s not off to a great start.

Last night’s Chiefs-Patriots game drew a 14.6 overnight rating on NBC. That’s down from a 16.5 rating for the Panthers-Broncos opener in 2016, and a 17.7 rating for the Steelers-Patriots opener in 2015.

What’s the cause for the decline? That’s a question that many asked last year, and few satisfactory answers were found. One cause is likely that more people were watching news and weather for updates on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In fact, ratings for the cable news networks and the weather channel were up by almost exactly the same amount compared to NFL opening night last year as ratings for the NFL were down.

But the reality is that there’s always going to be competing programming, whether it’s hurricanes or politics or entertainment. The NFL needs to figure out how to keep its still-large share of the TV viewing audience from eroding any further.

59 responses to “Chiefs-Patriots TV rating down from previous opening nights

  1. Fans are getting fed up with players that mix sports and politics. Players don’t support their country, fans won’t support the players or the sport they play for. It really is that simple.

  2. Probably because that guy on the Chiefs sat on the table during the anthem. I hate when they do that. I think about how unamerican it is, even though I’m pulling pizza rolls out of the oven and scratching myself when it happens.

  3. Two of the premier teams in the league atm. The game had it’s bright spots but the best player in the league looked pretty bad. Both defenses pretty suspect. The NFL has to face facts that the product is not what it once was.

  4. Only 1 show actually increased its ratings from the previous year (the bachelor) and 2 were stagnant (Jane the virgin and Hawaii five-o) every other show had a decline in ratings including 27 shows that had a huge decline in ratings at about 25% or more. It’s not just the nfl every tv show is hurting for ratings from multiple factors e.g. Online streaming legal and illegal

  5. tonyzendejas says:
    September 8, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Probably because that guy on the Chiefs sat on the table during the anthem.

    The funny thing is that no one would have even known had Al Michaels not opened his yap. This is nothing more than the media wagging the dog.

  6. It’s not competing programs. It’s the ridiculous amount of down time during a game. Over the years it keeps getting worse, not better. Baseball has the same issue and they are trying to fix it. The NFL says they’re trying to fix that, but they are not. Perfect example is when the Pats “scored” the second time last night. We have to sit there and watch the reply over and over while getting an ad for the Surface laptop. They should just cut to commercial then and eliminate one or two other breaks, then show you the definitive replay between the next two live plays. Instead you get a two minute commercial and nauseating replays and then get more commercials shortly after the play on the next change of possession. They have watered down the ads and the fans are reacting. I quit watching at that point of the game and will likely only watch a handful of games the rest of the year. It just feels like a waste of time. I’ll listen to the Vikings while doing something else and watch a few games when the weather is bad or when nothing else is going on. The long stupid intros cutting into the game start time don’t help either. They shorten the viewer’s fuse right at the start of the game, so if there is a second delay that’s the shut-off-and-don’t-comeback-point. The NFL kangaroo court doesn’t help either, but I’m not sure if the media makes that more annoying or not. Definitely the media’s overblown attention to player political views is annoying. I know I’m in the minority here, but I completely support Kap and other players political stances, but also get the other side of it. I don’t support all of the Hot Take media buzz trying to get everyone worked up about one side or the other. The media seems to cater to the vocal minority on both sides of whatever issue they are covering just to stir up the hornet’s nest.

  7. Maybe just maybe the state of Florida evacuating and the Houston still being w/o power and flooded impacted it to. Agreed. Politics and sports stinks

  8. Many people expected a boring game because the Chiefs have a noodle arm QB and wouldn’t be able to keep up with the Patriots high powered offense. So they tuned off. It turns out the weather was perfect and Alex Smith’s noodle arm wasn’t a factor. He ended playing a great game, I’ll give credit when it’s due.

  9. Great job not mentioning the reason I and possibly many others don’t watch anymore. The SJW’s and snowflakes keep injecting politics into my sports. Football is not the only sport on TV. I’ve switched to the college game myself.

  10. It’s the anthem protests. Very simple. All players will stand respectfully (no “black power” gang signs) for the national anthem or be fined 50,000 dollars per incident.

    Problem solved. The fact that the commissioner has failed to act on this to this point has turned people off to the NFL.

    That and race-baiters like Colin Kaepernick and Michael Bennett.

  11. As usual, the mouthbreathers think it’s because of politics. Not because the USA is getting sick of football as a whole.

  12. I don’t know how many people realize that the NFL is paid with tax dollars to “support the military” and because of that now forces players to be on the field for the national anthem, when before they were still in the locker rooms. As a veteran, I’m disgusted with America’s propaganda that you will be looked upon as a hero after helping our country rape, murder, and steal the resources of other countries for our multinational corporations. War is a racket, and players are one of the few people who can speak for the voiceless because of their positions and I’m glad to see them doing it, because our countries citizens need to wake up!

  13. It’s because of the Chefs. No-one wants to watch the Chefs, no matter how good they are or who they play. They’re uncompelling to anyone outside MO. They’re the Chefs.

  14. My complaint is that there are too many commercials seems like 50% or more of the game time. I almost never sit down in front of a tv to watch football, and instead, stream games so that i can do something else for the commercials.

  15. dougchillin says:
    September 8, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    People dont pay for cable anymore. They stream. There is your answer.


    It was on a regular over the air tv channel.

  16. The NFL has made it clear that the only way they care about their fans is how much money they spend on the product. Billionaire owners moving teams to make more money. Players holding out over $100 million contracts. Being asked to pay for ESPN and NFL channel to watch a commercial filled broadcast.
    This isn’t the 80’s, 90’s or 00’s and content providers no longer call the shots. We have viewing choices. You want us to care, give us a reason to.

  17. From many articles online, the majority (that I’ve read) point the finger at the lack of respect by some players for our flag (and therefore, our country). Patriotism trumps football.

  18. SJW-thinking is terrible for business because they, as a group, are irrational, deranged, and impossible to make happy.

    The least Patriotic people can do is turn the TV off during the insane protests until the NFL gets the message in their wallet.

  19. DolFan says:
    September 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm
    dougchillin says:
    September 8, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    People dont pay for cable anymore. They stream. There is your answer.


    It was on a regular over the air tv channel.


    which you still have to pay for…..

  20. The NFL is a joke

    The NFL had a game last night?
    Gotta love people who post things like this in the comment section of an NFL website. Please.

  21. I didn’t watch because #imwithKaep and #nflblackout.

    it was very difficult to keep from turning to the game but I did it. and proud of myself.

    if a good portion of African Americans are supporting Kaep and not tuning in and there’s a portion of white america who will boycott because of players “disrespecting” the flag. Then that should equal to a pretty significant number of people not tuning into the games. Either way, both sides win if the NFL numbers go down

  22. The NFL is so out of touch with their fan base….Thursday is a WORK NIGHT …..after working & commuting over 10 hours during the day people are TIRED!. SLEEP OVER NON-EXCITING FOOTBALL. It’s pretty simple.

  23. Maybe because we don’t want to watch a bunch of privileged players disrespect our flag in “protest” of being treated poorly? There are so many other ways they could get their “message” across without insulting half the country.

  24. This is directly the effect of the league getting younger and younger as vets have inadvertently gotten the squeeze with younger players being cheaper these days. It’s been noticeable in the erosion of the product on the field since the new CBA came into effect as we get further into it just like when true free agency started, and the league’s overall quality of play looked noticeably worse than it did previous. I mean there are many games these days that are unwatchable, and it starts now before injuries start decimating rosters like it used to be before this new CBA. Hopefully someone sees this and tries to swing the pendulum back the other way for the sake of the game.

  25. BountyGate, DeflateGate, anthem protests, Zeke – Its been years of negative reports about the NFL. It all adds up. Remember when football was fun?

  26. two words: red zone…no crappy commercials, just 6.5 hours of pure football…my wife hates it, I love it…no need to watch Thursday night football, Sunday night football, and Monday night football…I read about them the next morning after getting a good, full night’s sleep…(and red zone doesn’t show who’s standing, kneeling, or picking their nose during the opening game ceremonies: life is good)…

  27. It’s okay haters. I probably wouldn’t like the Pats either if they weren’t my team.

    Cuz you see, we just win (last nite was just an anomaly).

  28. people are really underestimating what red zone has done for watching football

    the fact is that football has a LOT of downtime/commercials, and redzone has removed a lot of extra BS

    who wants to watch consecutive 3-and-outs, punt, commercial, repeat……

  29. matt2calvin says:
    September 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm
    Great job not mentioning the reason I and possibly many others don’t watch anymore. The SJW’s and snowflakes keep injecting politics into my sports. Football is not the only sport on TV. I’ve switched to the college game myself.

    LOL at the dude who whines like a female dog and then calls others snowflakes. The irony is delicious!

  30. The game has gotten to the point that no one can make a good clean HARD hit anymore. Perfect example is Burfict. It really is getting to the point of not being real football. Remember when good clean HARD hits got rewarded and the player made it on the “he just got jacked up” portion of Monday night football? Now good clean hits get you fined or even worse suspended. And I don’t want to hear anything about players safety, every player in the league knows exactly what they signed up for, and that’s why they make millions of dollars to play a game. Players don’t want to take hard hits, then join me in the 9-5 work force.

  31. And the people complaining about the commercials are funny. Why is no one complaining about commercials with college games that are a whole lot longer with their ridiculous stoppage rules? Because the product is better that’s why. The NFL has a quality problem directly due to all of these younger players replacing more expensive vets many times before they’re ready. It’s not rocket science.

  32. As a practical matter, plenty of the people at PFT would certainly agree that if Colin Kaepernick were playing, TV ratings would be through the roof. Why won’t the league listen.

    Also with the injuries in the game last night, as a practical matter, plenty of viewers noticed that most of the training and medical staff that attended to the downed players were white. It’s time for PFT to advocate for the Rooney Rule to be expanded to bring training and medical staff under its umbrella. That too should improve TV ratings.

  33. dougchillin says:
    September 8, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    which you still have to pay for…..

    I don’t know anyone that had to pay for FREE over the air television stations.

  34. Cable-Cutters, such as Roku, Chromecast, etc are growing at a big rate.As soon as the NFL can figure out how to charge the streaming networks, the ratings will go back up

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