While the NFL Struggles, the NBA Soars. Are the Anthem Protest to Blame? While the NFL Struggles, the NBA Soars. Are the Anthem Protest to Blame? – NTK Network

While the NFL Struggles, the NBA Soars. Are the Anthem Protest to Blame?

The NFL's ratings have fallen by nearly 20 percent in just two years. The NBA on the other hand is having its best season since 2010-11.

By NTK Staff | 12.06.2017 @12:00pm
While the NFL Struggles, the NBA Soars. Are the Anthem Protest to Blame?

While the NFL ratings have taken a considerable dip over the past two years, the NBA is having its best viewership since the 2010-11 season and has increased its audience by 32 percent this season alone.

Is this shift in the sporting landscape a result of NFL players being allowed to protest during the national anthem, while the NBA prohibits its players from conducting similar protests?

The NFL’s ratings have fallen by nearly 20 percent just two years, with many pundits contributing the rating slide to the NFL’s ongoing feud with President Trump over kneeling during the national anthem.

This dip in ratings coincides with the start of former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem, which began in 2016.

In September, Trump called on NFL owners fire any NFL player who kneeled during the national anthem and suggested that people boycott NFL games if players kneel during the national anthem.

The American people overwhelmingly agreed with Trump that NFL players should stand during the national anthem, according to polling.

This resulted in some NFL sponsor pulling their advertisements, lower ratings, and poor attendance at NFL games.

Out Kick The Coverage reported in November that the NFL’s TV partners at CBS, ESPN, Fox, and NBC are “on pace to cost the four networks up to $500 million in lost revenue.”

CNN also reported that the NFL owner’s internal data shows that the league’s ratings are down as a result of the protest.

Despite the rapid decline in ratings and lost revenue, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stood by the NFL players’ right to protest, and it wasn’t until October that Goodell expressed his belief that NFL players should stand during the national anthem.

However, the NFL league rules do not prohibit players from protesting during the anthem, so there is little Goodell can do to prohibit these protests.

But while the NFL has struggled in 2017, the NBA has soared. SB Nation reported on Wednesday:

“Nationally televised NBA games have increased their viewership 32 percent this season and are averaging 1.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen, the highest since the 2010-11 season. Those include games shown on ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.”

Unlike the NFL, the NBA has very clear rules that prohibit its players from protesting during the national anthem.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters at the start of the season that it was his belief that “players will continue to stand for the anthem.”

Silver cited a long-standing league rule, which states, “Players, coaches, and trainers must be present, stand, and line up in a dignified posture along the foul lines during the playing of the American and/or Canadian national anthems.”

As of today, no NBA player has been suspended for protesting the national anthem.

One could argue that professional athletes’ protests of the national anthem is directly linked to both their leagues’ ratings and revenue based on current viewership numbers for the NBA and NFL.

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