Ratings way down for Hard Knocks

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HBO didn’t draw much of an audience for the season premiere of Hard Knocks.

The first episode of this year’s NFL training camp reality show drew just 273,000 viewers, according to Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal. That’s a huge decline from the 705,000 who watched the first episode last year, and may be the smallest audience ever for any episode of Hard Knocks.

It’s unclear why the audience shrank so much. It could be that the format — featuring both the Rams and the Chargers — isn’t as interesting as an inside look at one team. It could be that the show is getting stale after years of showing fans an offensive line coach barking out orders while standing on a blocking sled, and an undrafted rookie getting upset when he gets cut.

Whatever the reasons, that’s a highly disappointing number for HBO, at a time when some thought fans were so desperate for the return of football that they’d watch any football-related content.

24 responses to “Ratings way down for Hard Knocks

  1. Maybe people really don’t care about LA teams, despite what the NFL tries to make you believe

  2. My guess is that people don’t want to watch training camp made uneasy by Corona and be reminded that everything has been upended by it, including football. People want an escape, not a grim reminder of what’s happening right now.

  3. I think the main problem is that MLB, NHL, and NBA are all going on right now. Ordinarily it’s just baseball happening and that leaves room for more to watch, but with all 3 on at once there is less of a need for Hard Knocks

  4. ‘All or Nothing’ became the better show in my opinion since they followed a team throughout an entire season. Seemed like they had better access too, Hard Knocks doesn’t really show you that many behind the scenes type things except the cuts and glimpses of meetings. Hard Knocks is still worth watching, but hasn’t had a really fresh season in some time.

  5. Well, maybe we wanted a break from the real world and just dive into some football. That episode was all about Covid and the unrest in this country. We just want a break from all the awfulness and watch some football.

  6. Maybe it’s because the Rams and Chokers don’t have much of a following? The Browns have the dawg pound, the Raiders had the black hole and so on. The Rams? Nowt. Chargers? They always have played 16 away games, so who’s going to follow them…?

  7. Hard Knocks usually benefits from being in that “no man’s land” of the sports calendar. This is usually the time of year when sports radio shows struggle for content because we’re past the NBA and NHL finals, MLB all star game, etc., and we’re all clamoring for anything remotely sports related. This year we ended up hitting that sports “Bermuda Triangle” early thanks to the pandemic. Now we have a variety of live sports, so why choose a “reality show?” I also think there are NFL fans who just don’t want to invest their time following a league that may very well not start/finish its season.

  8. I didn’t even know it had started until I saw a post on here about it yesterday. I turned it on last night and enjoyed it. Anthony Lynn seems like he could be a good coach.

  9. i believe this is just the begining of low ratings for the NFL…todays athletes are not very interesting…

  10. Since Covid, I haven’t watch any sports. Any. So I guess I’m not interested in watching a show about not-yet-playing sports.

  11. It’s unclear why the audience shrank so much. It could be that the format — featuring both the Rams and the Chargers — isn’t as interesting as an inside look at one team. It could be that the show is getting stale after years of showing fans an offensive line coach barking out orders while standing on a blocking sled, and an undrafted rookie getting upset when he gets cut.
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    YEA just keep up the denial that it has nothing to do with the protesting! This is just a small sample of what’s to come when you let the players protest during a sporting event, it isn’t that people are against the movement it’s that most of them won’t have it mixed with their sports, we watch sports to escape the every day realities of life, NOT TO HAVE EVEN MORE OF IT THROWN IN OUR FACES!

    Take a lesson from the NBA, viewership is down 60-70%, we have yet to see how much it’ll be for the NFL but on top of limited attendance at games you can bet it’s going to devastate revenues this season and that minimum $175mil cap will go down even more!
    And for those that claim the NFL already guaranteed it, they had a new guarenteed CBA deal in place too and less than 2 months into it they altered it so good luck with that thinking.

  12. eaglesfan036 says:
    August 13, 2020 at 10:16 am
    I think the main problem is that MLB, NHL, and NBA are all going on right now. Ordinarily it’s just baseball happening and that leaves room for more to watch, but with all 3 on at once there is less of a need for Hard Knocks
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    Don’t kid yourself, the viewership numbers for the MLB and NBA are down 60-70% so it’s not like people are too busy watching them! These players really over-played their hands BIG TIME with this protesting and it’s going to take a HUGE bite right out of their wallets.

  13. Getting upset about people protesting is about as un-American as you can get. The right to assemble is a cornerstone of democracy – along with a free press. Lose these and you might as well be living in China or Russia. How’s that working out for them?…

  14. Oh come-on this not LA’s fault. We wanted the Rams and/or the Raiders. We had 21 years to join the Chargers bandwagon and no one in LA did except for some in South Orange County, which is like being in SD. But the league forced the Chargers on us, we are stuck with them. I think they should rebrand their name to the So Cal Chargers, regionalize the team, like the Phoenix Cardinals did in the 90’s to gain more fans by changing to the Arizona Cardinals. Hard Knocks already did the Rams and picked the boring Chargers. They were going to go with the Washington Team originally but they felt their story was not compelling, weren’t they wrong!

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