The NFL’s scores fell sharply this season, however its video games are nonetheless a few of the most-watched occasions on tv.
The league’s TV viewership dropped roughly 10% general from final yr. The premiere sport of the week, NBC’s “Sunday Night time Soccer,” was down 10% for the season; ESPN’s “Monday Night time Soccer” down 6%; and the averages of Sunday afternoon video games on Fox and CBS have been down 9% and 11% respectively, in line with Nielsen knowledge that got here out this week.
Plenty of components on and off the sphere this season may have impacted the league’s viewership.
Early within the season, President Trump started a public spat with the league after he slammed gamers who took a knee through the nationwide anthem to protest police violence and racial injustice. Trump’s feedback prompted additional debate and controversy concerning the protests, prompting extra gamers to take a knee. The president repeatedly cited the anthem protests as the rationale for the NFL’s flagging scores.
On the sphere, massive title gamers like Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, Odell Backham and Andrew Luck have been all injured at some through the season. Ezekiel Elliot, the working again for the Dallas Cowboys, was suspended for a number of weeks, which may have negatively impacted one of many league’s hottest groups.
This season’s declining numbers additionally observe final season’s eight% scores drop.
The excellent news is, the NFL remains to be the most important scores driver on tv.
Of the highest ten most-watched telecasts final yr, seven of them have been NFL occasions, together with the Tremendous Bowl, which drew 111.three million viewers. Thirty-three of the highest 50 TV packages have been NFL video games. NBC’s “Sunday Night time Soccer,” was nonetheless the #1 watched TV program final yr averaging greater than 18 million viewers, regardless of being down 10% from final season, in line with Nielsen. The NFL Community additionally had an enormous yr coming in because the second most watched cable sports activities community behind solely ESPN.
But, the league’s numbers might proceed to see declines because it heads into the primary spherical of the playoffs this weekend. Fashionable groups just like the Cowboys, Inexperienced Bay Packers and New York Giants, which have been part of the playoffs final season, did not make the postseason this yr.