Clearly, the NFL has vastly underestimated the American public.
On the heels of San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem sit-down followed by multiple copycats and the NFL’s refusal to do anything about it, multiple outlets called for a fan boycott, because if players can sit the national anthem, fans can definitely sit out games.
Despite boycott calls on other issues that go viral but never really go anywhere, this one, at least so far, looks like it may have legs. Forbes reported that many fans have stopped watching games on TV, and if the pattern holds it could end up costing the league billions in royalties when advertising contracts are renegotiated.
“Both CBS’ Sunday afternoon game and NBC’s Sunday Night Football saw their lowest ratings in seven years. Throw in last night’s lackluster debut and the 2016 NFL season is off to its slowest start in recent memory in terms of TV ratings.”
This year, the NFL will distribute around $4.6 billion in television fees from the various networks that cover games, but only because advertisers are willing to pay for football’s massive ratings. In fact, the ratings are a primary reason why, according to Forbes, the average NFL team is worth $2.34 billion.
It’s too early to tell if this trend will continue, of course, but the fact that two new polls show a majority of Americans disagreeing with Kaepernick’s actions doesn’t bode well.
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