The NFL Ratings Are Down 7.5% Through Six Weeks

By NTK Staff | 10.18.2017 @12:45pm
The NFL Ratings Are Down 7.5% Through Six Weeks

Compared to 2015, NFL ratings are down 18.7 percent. Is the national anthem protest to blame?

The NFL’s viewership is down 7.5 percent through the first six weeks of the NFL season compared to the first six weeks of 2016, which was also a down year for NFL viewership.

Just how bad is the NFL’s rating slide?

ESPN reported:

An average of 15 million people watched games for the first six weeks this year, compared with 16.2 million people through Week 6 last season, according to metrics from Nielsen.

But it gets worse. “Compared with the first six weeks of the 2015 season, NFL ratings are off 18.7 percent,” according to ESPN.

The poor ratings in 2016 were primarily attributed to the enormous amount of coverage and attention focused on the presidential election between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The 2016 and 2017 drops could have been partly due to NFL player’s decision to protest the national anthem and Trump’s vocal opposition to it.

Trump told Americans that they should boycott the NFL if the players continue to protest during the national anthem.

The NFL owners declared on Tuesday that players would not be penalized for kneeling during the national anthem, a decision that received harsh criticism from Trump.

The national anthem protests have already resulted in sponsors pulling their ads from air during NFL games. But, the NFL’s mediocre ratings and national anthem protest don’t just impact the NFL’s wallet, it could also impact Fox and CBS stock.

Credit Suisse has lowered its price targets for both companies in the past, citing NFL rating declines.

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