NFL Ratings From Last Night Are Uglier Than Expected

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Jena Greene Reporter
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The NFL conference championship ratings from last night are in. If the recent trend of plummeting ratings could have served as any sort of trajectory, many probably could’ve guessed what last night’s numbers were going to look like.

Let’s just say they’re not pretty.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, conference championship ratings were down for the second year in a row. According to Sports Media Watch, it was the tight game between the Patriots and the Jaguars that kept the ratings alive during last night’s AFC matchup.

“Sunday’s Jaguars-Patriots AFC Championship Game earned a 27.3 overnight rating on CBS, down just a tick from Packers-Falcons on FOX in the same window last year (27.4) and down 14% from Patriots-Broncos in 2016 (31.8),” it reported.

Last night’s ratings were the lowest for the early slot since 2013 when the 49ers played the Falcons.

In the later slot last night, the Eagles-Vikings fare even worse.

While the game wasn’t expected to bring in a viewership haul, it only mustered a 24.7 rating, which tumbled 11% compared to last year’s time slot (where the Patriots faced off against the Steelers) and 8% compared to 2016’s matchup. It was by far the lowest rated matchup for the time slot since 2009.

While it’s difficult to account for all of the factors that have contributed to a dip in NFL ratings over the past couple years, the trend certainly isn’t shocking. This season’s ratings were down almost double digits at 9.7% as a whole, following a crushing 8% plummet in the 2016 season. Many fans and former viewers have cited Anthem protests and the increasing politicization of the league as a reason to stop watching it.

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