The NFL’s national television ratings are down 7.5 percent this year, but it’s not just the national TV audience that’s struggling: The vast majority of teams are seeing their local ratings down as well.
According to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com, 25 of 31 teams are drawing lower local numbers than they did in 2016. The Chargers aren’t included in that number because they’re playing in a new market this year, although it’s clear that the Chargers are struggling with their local fan base as well.
Most teams in the NFL are down by more than 5 percent. The Jets, playing in America’s biggest television market, are down a whopping 37 percent. Only three teams — the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Lions — have improved their local ratings by more than 5 percent.
Ratings fluctuate from week to week and year to year, and the NFL has mostly shrugged off the ratings decline of the last two years. But when virtually every team in the league is drawing fewer viewers on local television than last year, that points to a bigger problem than the NFL has publicly acknowledged.