Ratings Are Taking A Knee
Welcome to N.F.L. OPENING WEEKEND.
This is still one of the biggest uniquely American events that happen once a year. People from all over the country take a moment to go to or watch their favorite NFL teams battle it out for gridiron supremacy.
Just not as many people watch as in the past.
As Brandon Morse wrote here last week in his piece Nike Learned Nothing From The Ratings Disaster The NFL Faced When It Embraced The Anthem Protesters people are tuning of N.F.L. games for a variety of reasons, not just the kneeling protests. Yet having the current President Of The United States commenting about how crappy your league is running might help the dive.
After an offseason where N.F.L. executives and advertisers worked with the players to help find a solution to the decline and build up some ratings ground.
The initial results are not promising.
The actual KICK-OFF of the 2018-19 season occurred on Thursday with the World Champs the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the Atlanta Falcons. The league was hoping for an increase from last years Thursday opener.
The ratings dipped 13% from the Thursday opener in 2017
According to Deadspin…
Snagging 19 million viewers on the Comcast-owned network, the late starting Eagles winning kickoff game fell 13% in broadcast audience from last year’s NFL opener with the New England Patriots and the victorious Kansas City Chiefs.
That’s another year of straight double-digit decline for the NFL and NBC. With last years opener holding the previous record, the 2018 battle in Philly is also the worst any kickoff game has done since 2009.
In fast affiliates, the season opener drew a 6.6/27 among adults 18-49. A drop of 14% from the final demo numbers of the September 7, 2017 game.
Even though the game was delayed for 45 minutes due to rain, the trend has been downward and the N.F.L. can’t afford to keep charging top dollar for advertising rights for this games if fewer people are watching.
Will be interesting to see how the ratings fare for all the games today and for the Monday Night game of the Detroit Lions vs The New York Jets.
Will the ratings continue to take a knee or will they rise up?