The National Football League continued to see its television ratings plummet at the end of the 2017 regular season.
The average audience size declined 9.7 percent with 14.9 million viewers compared to the 2016 regular season’s viewership of 16.5 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.
And while viewers continued their exodus citing anger over NFL players protesting during the national anthem, TV executives blindly claimed that was not the main reason for tanking ratings. A higher number of Thursday night games as well as additional early morning Sunday games allegedly lead to overexposure, the executives argued in November.
New games “diluted the Sunday afternoon packages and affected the ratings,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said earlier this season, according to the Journal. Others insist the changes in traditional television viewing as fans turn to digital services is behind the decline.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
The Thursday and Sunday NFL prime-time packages took the biggest hits in viewership. “Thursday Night Football,” which is shared by CBS, NBC and the NFL Network, averaged 10.9 million viewers, a 12% drop from the previous season.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” averaged 18.2 million viewers, an 11% decline from the previous season and its smallest audience in almost a decade. NBC had one less Sunday night game this season as the league opted not to have a game on New Year’s Eve.
“Monday Night Football” had its smallest audience ever, averaging 10.8 million viewers – a 6 percent drop from its previous 2016 numbers, according to the Journal. Over at CBS, 15.7 million viewers indicated an 11 percent drop from 2016 and a 9 percent decline was felt at Fox with an average of 17.7 million viewers.
The dismal numbers paint a grim picture for the social justice warrior agendas pushed by those like ESPN which faced major layoffs in 2017. That didn’t seem to reign-in the on-air talent at ESPN which continued to spout off political commentary that viewers repeatedly denounced.
The NFL cancelled the last “Sunday Night Football” game of the season, citing a scheduling conflict. The new year may see the league learn some hard lessons but doesn’t seem to hold much promise yet as four NFL head coaches were fired already on Sunday.
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