Ratings down for divisional round

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Continuing a season-long trend, the ratings sank for the divisional round games.

Via SportsBusiness Daily, the ratings for the four games fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade, with each game dropping in comparison to the comparable game from a year ago.

The good news, if there is any, comes from the fact that the 21.8 rating generated by the Saints-Vikings in the late afternoon/early evening slot was only 0.1 lower than the 21.9 for Steelers-Chiefs last January, even though that game was played in prime time. The bad news is that the apples-to-apples comparison — the late-afternoon Sunday game between the Packers and Cowboys — churned a 28.2.

The Jaguars-Steelers game played at 1:05 p.m. ET posted a 20.4, the lowest overnight rating in that window in 15 years.

For the Saturday games, the 17.4 rating coming from Falcons-Eagles was down from last year’s 18.3 from the Seahawks-Falcons contest; that’s the lowest since Ravens-Titans in that same spot drew a 17.0 in early 2009. The 16.6 overnight for the Titans-Patriots game on Saturday night was the lowest since Cardinals-Panthers in early 2009.

The NFL would say that the drop is still lower than the broader drop in TV ratings for other shows, that the games lacked national brands like Green Bay and Dallas, and that the starting quarterbacks included Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles, and Case Keenum. (Three of them won, besting Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees.)

Expect similar news next Monday, given the which-doesn’t-belong-and-why? quartet of quarterbacks (Foles, Bortles, Keenum, Tom Brady) for the championship round.

82 responses to “Ratings down for divisional round

  1. Jags game was the only one I watched.

    Might DVR the Jags game and watch if they win. Otherwise, forget it. Bad football. Bad product right now. Not worth my time.

  2. Penalties. Game changing penalties are what’s driving people away. The excitement of the big plays is taken away because you’re always waiting to see if they call something stupid. The refs are also incapable of calling pass interference, and seem oblivious to the fact that a player may “dive” to draw a flag. There’s nothing in the rule book to waive off a call due to embellishment.

  3. I would imagine the Patriots game had the worst ratings in years. Everyone except Patriots fans are sick and tired of them and it was basically their second bye week of the playoffs. All the others were actually good games.

  4. You gotta love people that say “watching isn’t worth my time” but then spend their time posting about it on a football forum.

  5. with the 3 out of 4 games going down to the last minute and the last game in Minny… what can you say? I’ll bet a lot more ‘fans’ show up next weekend, although I’ll understand that the NFL is praying it’s not Jacksonville in the Super Bowl.
    I will also say that not one game was won or lost with the Refs this past weekend and I hope that the “Brady” effect doesn’t occur next Sunday, either. Keep it on the field and let ’em play. 3 out 4 good football games and one with the ‘machine’ winning…

    js

  6. exactly… they do not keep track of how many people stream games nowadays….have to think they might actually be up.

  7. Meaningless. In the last ten years all forms of communication have been changed in a revolutionary way. Tv we knew it is gone. It is no longer the central entertainment medium.

  8. Did anyone really expect the Vikings/Saints game to draw as well as the Cowboys/Packers from last year? Still a game of the year candidate though.

  9. shocker that two of the most popular teams pulled more ratings than the Jags and the same old Pats. for some reason the NFL and the refs keeps giving the Pats calls even though everyone is sick of watching them.

  10. dal1as says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:01 pm
    I would imagine the Patriots game had the worst ratings in years. Everyone except Patriots fans are sick and tired of them and it was basically their second bye week of the playoffs. All the others were actually good games.

    ———————-
    Patriots games tend to get decent ratings because they tend to draw two crowds. There are the usual fans looking for a win. But on top of that they also have a fat little market that watches their games hoping to see them lose. Next week will be no exception.

  11. Parity, officiating, instant replay – delay of the flow, rules-rules-more rules, what is a catch, players who think they are bigger than the game, officiating reviewers & commentators, and TV commentators, all make football harder to stay interested in than when it was just a game.

  12. I’m not watching the Super Bowl because I can’t stand any of the remaining teams’ fans… Vikings vs Patriots would be completely unbearable. I’d say the fans are ruining the NFL too. They always have to brag and argue about every stupid thing. It’s creating so much toxicity.

  13. And I will state the obvious. If you look at any TV ratings and compare them to last years numbers you’ll find the same trend. Welcome to the future and the dilemma cable companies are dealing with as new technologies allow more and more ways to watch tv, movies, and sports.

  14. Ever since the Chargers moved, and perhaps a few years prior to that, I haven’t watched much football overall, but I did see the two Sunday games which were entertaining.

    I just think non-Patriots’ fans are sick and tired of watching the Patriots’ overall dominance in the league for all these many, many, many,years. Close to two decades.

    If it is indeed a forgone conclusion that the Patriots are going to win another SB, then why bother watching? Why bother listening to the dude who has a picture of how he likes his toast in his wallet, constantly praise the Patriots? He never seems to shut up about them.

    I hope it is a Vikings/Jaguars SB. That is the only thing that can save this season.

  15. The whole point of the comment sections are to input one’s opinion. You don’t have to read the comment section, it’s really here for good laughs at the same people you are describing.

    You like football? Watch the superbowl, it’s good football.

  16. Larger city teams tend to draw larger viewers. You can’t look at the playoffs to draw conclusions about overall interest in football viewing.

  17. Rdog says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I’m not watching the Super Bowl because I can’t stand any of the remaining teams’ fans… Vikings vs Patriots would be completely unbearable. I’d say the fans are ruining the NFL too. They always have to brag and argue about every stupid thing. It’s creating so much toxicity.
    ================
    This is what I call irony. Watching TV has little to do about fans being obnoxious, but reading and interacting here has everything to do with toxcity…

  18. I don’t think the Patriots dominance is the reason for the drop as much as it is the fact that there isn’t a marquee opponent for them to face. Brady vs Mariotta just isn’t the same as Brady vs Manning. The NFL lacks star power

  19. I’d bet most people who tuned out are ‘casual fans’, at best.

    They can’t enjoy the NFL without a Brady or Manning or Favre or Rodgers tossing 50+ TDs.

    They can’t enjoy low-scoring, defensive matches.

    They can’t enjoy smashmouth football.

    I pray the NFL NEVER caters to them (point of emphasis, Defensive Holding, ahem) because far too often those fans don’t understand or care about the games within the game, which better fans understand and appreciate.

    /soapbox

  20. Before the Cuban-ites check in, it should be noted that the lowest rated NFL game this weekend still got better ratings than the highest rated NBA Finals game from last year

  21. Coffeehog says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    dal1as says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:01 pm
    I would imagine the Patriots game had the worst ratings in years. Everyone except Patriots fans are sick and tired of them and it was basically their second bye week of the playoffs. All the others were actually good games.

    ———————-
    Patriots games tend to get decent ratings because they tend to draw two crowds. There are the usual fans looking for a win. But on top of that they also have a fat little market that watches their games hoping to see them lose. Next week will be no exception.

    _________________________
    My friends watch the patriot games and drink everytime they get a questionable call. Needless to say we are beyond hammered when the game is over.

  22. There are many factors, none good. First we have a general loss of interest from those who are tired of politics creeping into ever aspect of their lives. Then there is options other than network TV and cable. There is also the younger generation who just aren’t watching football like previous generations.

    The NFL needs to do something sooner than later. It is hard to get people to watch the product and even harder to get people back who gave up on the product.

  23. I really expected more morons to blame it on those NFL protesters.. and not the antiquated rating system that only takes in to account for TV and not streaming..

    Saying the NFL viewership is down because the ratings are down would be like saying no one watches movies any more cause Blockbuster is gone.

  24. 15 2 Rate This
    Rdog says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm
    I’m not watching the Super Bowl because I can’t stand any of the remaining teams’ fans… Vikings vs Patriots would be completely unbearable. I’d say the fans are ruining the NFL too. They always have to brag and argue about every stupid thing. It’s creating so much toxicity.

    17 31 Rate This

    —————————-

    Yes, it has nothing to do with Goodell enabling cheating and framing the PAts to steal draft picks, forcing NE fans to go on the defensive for over a decade.

    You people started. Goodell and the owners have done that crap for you.

  25. Park Avenue’s inability to ever say “we were/are wrong” and insatiable need to monetize everything is an overwhelming driver of many of their issues.
    Concussion issues
    Player discipline
    Protests
    The myriad of “investigations” and outcomes of these
    Fines for “cleats for good causes” etc.

    When you run your product like a reality show instead of a sport, people will start to treat it as such.
    I miss the days when it really was “just” a sport.

  26. The games were very entertaing but soooooo many commercials still. I tend to fad in out of a nap when I try and watch an entire game….but once the game is ibside 7 minuties of the 4th quarter I’m wide awake!

  27. If all you Patriots haters actually look at the ratings, the Pats game do better than most others. Loyal fans plus the lure of them possibly losing…

  28. People who are football fans should watch the Patriots to see football played well.

    You know, good coaching decisions, good tackling, situational awareness. That seems to be lacking for most other teams

  29. I turned off the Pats game when I saw the officiating that was occurring. I will not watch any game they are in, including the Super Bowl. A message needs to be sent to the league that the officiating must be unbiased if they expect anyone to care. If not, I will wait for the new XFL

  30. Officials deciding games with horrid calls (triplette) makes me think the fix is in. Reading comments saying NFL doesn’t want Jacksonville (small market) in SB only supports my thinking that it is all theater.

  31. Much like the past few weekends, I’ll be tuned in to watch the NFC title… Both won by mistakes made by their opponent but a win is a win… NFC teams are strong and entertaining…

    Can’t stress this enough… I could NOT care less about the AFC game… a conference riddled with soft teams that just pad the record for the Patriots and Steelers every year… KUDOS to the Jags for squeaking out a win over the Steelers… If you happen to do it to the Pats, I’m sure I’ll hear about it but not interested nor believe its possible enough to waste time washing it…

  32. charger383 says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:11 pm
    Very cold weather and nothing else on TV should have given higher ratings

    ……………………

    Warm weather on the west coast , plus no teams from the west coast. Means, who would want to watch since there are better things to do.

  33. Rdog says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:12 pm
    I’m not watching the Super Bowl because I can’t stand any of the remaining teams’ fans…

    ———-

    Wow….I don’t know how the league will survive

  34. I have hardly watched any football in the last two seasons because of the *** kicking administered to the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton by the Denver Broncos. Since then I have lost about all interest in pro football. Another reason is there is too many commercial ads on network tv and I an thorougly tired of watching drug ads shown on sports programming. Network greed has a lot to do with this and networks should get sickness and disease the hell out of sports programming altogether.

  35. Yeah, I really hate getting together with friends and eating good food, drinking beer, and watching football together. I’d rather whine about players protesting police shootings and complain about their 1st Amendment rights, and then post on a football forum about my whining even more. I’m a really fun guy, can you tell?

  36. Did anyone really expect the Vikings/Saints game to draw as well as the Cowboys/Packers from last year? Still a game of the year candidate though.

    Yes. I did in fact. Two clearly more talented teams than last year’s matchup.
    Only difference is in fan base, which I guess is what it comes down to.
    Most NFL fans are bandwagoners. So, Dallas (always a top seller) and Packers because they have been successful for so long.

    But in terms of NFL matchup, expected “good” football, I think you’re naïve to think that last years Cowboys/Packers was a better “game”.

  37. The officiating has lost of a lot folks and it carried over from late last season.

    The NFL needs to simplify their rules and get officials that can still actually see and maintain normal brain functions. I mean the fact that the Jaguars even had to challenge the TD run by Fournette says it all. They miss sooo much and the game is constantly slowed down because of it. I’ve seen better officiating from volunteers at youth football games.

    Maybe if the NFL started fining the officials for missed/bad calls, things would change. This whole idea of “rewarding” them with more games or working the Super Bowl is stupid. Hit them with $250-$500 fines for blowing calls.

  38. These ratings will keep going down until they fix the terrible officiating that is costing teams games. The league looks fixed and people are slowly turning away. Add in the BS kneeling and the fake outrage by coddled millionaires and it’s a recipe for another year of lower ratings.

  39. im just getting so tired of the refs deciding the outcomes of the games. getting harder and harder to watch. i know there are bad calls but nothing like the way its been going the last 2 years.

  40. We see too much of the athletes. I don’t like them. They are spoiled millionaire brats. If not for the NFL many of them would simply pursue a life of menial labor or crime. Not all of them of course, but a lot. They went through hs and college being entitled, treated specially because they are athletes. I want the old NFL back, this one isn’t likable.

  41. What other league promotes and gives owners and its officials as much screen time as the NFL? It’s totally unnecessary and way too much.
    Who cares if Jones, Kraft, Blank, etc. watch their club.
    Its not thoroughbred racing, keep the league about the game and players.
    Way too many rules and who’s behind it really make it unwatchable.

  42. Watched Sunday’s games (most of Jags/Steelers) and all of Vikings game. Wasn’t going to waste my time watching the refs give calls in favor of the Pats, no matter what the score is. Yes, I hate the Pats, and yes I am jealous of their championships*. Overall each season seems to get more frustrating with the officiating and lack of consistency. But there is a definite perception that the Pats get very favorable officiating at home. And you know what they say; ‘perception is reality’. If they are in the SB, I know I won’t be watching.

  43. I don’t think there’s a problem with a dynasty. The Bulls, 80s 49ers, 90s Cowboys, made other teams better and enjoyable to watch for anyone. The early Patriot dynasty did as well. The current Patriot dominance does not. Most teams are not enjoyable to watch. It’s really bad football mixed with horrible officiating and inconsistent rule changes. Add streaming to boot and you have low ratings.

  44. I was working out in a small gym and was hoping someone would tune in the game.
    A 30 something male and a 40 something male were intently watching as I was.
    That is total bs that the younger generations don’t follow the NFL. And it was the Jacksonville game at that!

  45. STREAMING! Nielsen ratings are down as people have cut the cord. As more people stream, ratings in all shows will go down, but actual viewership is up.

  46. “Very cold weather and nothing else on TV should have given higher ratings”

    Lolz there is never “nothing else on TV” anymore in this world of on demand and huge libraries of shows. Not to mention all the other things you can do in life than watch football.

  47. Of course the Pat’s game had the worst ratings. Who wants to waste 3 hours of their life watching the Pat’s play the worst team in the playoffs, which btw, happened as a result of playing in the AFC East, a division where the Patriots have the advantage of being in a non competitive division each year. How many legit QB’s on the AFC East, ho many playoff games other than the Pat’s in the AFC East since Brady has been with NE. There’s your advantage.

  48. It’s really easy to see cord cutting the tv providers is at work here. People are watching, just not the old Nielson ratings way. No way to count us.

  49. If the ‘Chargers’ were in, the ratings wouldn’t even register. They have only a slight trickle of ‘fans’ attending games at the soccer field. The Rams clearly own the popularity contest by a wide margin in L-a-L-a-Land. I wonder what the NFL will do about this fiasco. Raiders up next to Las Vegas and the Palugas will be readying the Bills to San Antonio. This ‘re-location’ stuff is ruining the league.

  50. The good news is NFL ratings are doing better than TV ratings in general. The bottom line is people are watching other types of screens. The NFL is still raking in record revenue every year. People are watching. They just have other gadgets that they’re watching the games on that aren’t TV’s.

  51. skawh says:
    January 15, 2018 at 4:47 pm
    Of course the Pat’s game had the worst ratings. Who wants to waste 3 hours of their life watching the Pat’s play the worst team in the playoffs, which btw, happened as a result of playing in the AFC East, a division where the Patriots have the advantage of being in a non competitive division each year. How many legit QB’s on the AFC East, ho many playoff games other than the Pat’s in the AFC East since Brady has been with NE. There’s your advantage.

    ——-

    the Patriots game actually had decent ratings because they have the additional market of you guys that watch hoping to see them lose. But really I dont think that was your point, you were just trying to create a segue from the article topic to a rant about the AFC East that overlooks that the AFC East has a better collective winning % than your NFC West and the AFC East had two playoff teams while the NFC West only had one, which was not the Seahawks. If the Seahawks were in the AFC East they would have only finished third.

  52. Too many commercials are killing the flow of the games. Being at the game itself is even worse. The players just standing around for the commercial time outs is just maddening.

  53. patriotmaleorgy says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    My friends watch the patriot games and drink everytime they get a questionable call. Needless to say we are beyond hammered when the game is over.

    ————————
    I was performing a show during the game and I told the crowd I would lay down a wild bass solo every time the Patriots scored. By the end of the night I was exhausted.

  54. As a cord cutter, I have to a separate monthly fee just for ESPN or CBS – another $20 dollars a month – almost twice what’m paying now for 2 crapfest channels, so if the NFL wants to make their games available to everyone, they’ll have to adjust in the post cord cutter world.

  55. This what happens when you make the NFL all about quarterbacks instead of teams. People follow the QB’s. Jacksonville is a good young team more that people should look forward to watching. Same could be said for other teams in the league as well. I think the Eagles – Vikings game should be a good close game this weekend.

  56. I agree with every post that included commercials and more importantly very poor officiating, that take forever to get a call wrong, as having an adverse effect on the NFL fans. It is a real turn off that the league must fix. But having said that the Saints – Vikings game was outstanding game to watch. You won’t forget that finish wow.

  57. fmc651 says:
    January 16, 2018 at 1:52 am
    I agree with every post that included commercials and more importantly very poor officiating, that take forever to get a call wrong, as having an adverse effect on the NFL fans. It is a real turn off that the league must fix. But having said that the Saints – Vikings game was outstanding game to watch. You won’t forget that finish wow.
    ———

    100% agree with you, though that word “fix” has me triggered given that the Patriots are involved in the champeenships.

  58. johnclaytonsponytail says:
    January 15, 2018 at 3:50 pm
    These ratings will keep going down until they fix the terrible officiating that is costing teams games. The league looks fixed and people are slowly turning away.

    ——————

    This is where the merits of your comment ended.

    Anyone who has a problem with the protests are fearful that THEIR “coddled” lifestyles will be disrupted so that others will actually be treated like human beings and not below cats and dogs in this country.

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