The NFL opened their 100th football season with a ratings dud as the annual Hall of Fame Game this Thursday between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons was at an all-time low, for the second straight year.
The annual Canton, Ohio game came in as a 4.1 household rating, down 15 percent from last season’s first preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens, which drew a 4.8 rating. The game, which is annually televised on NBC, has struggled recently to engage the public. (RELATED: NFL Network Will Broadcast Kyler Murray’s First Preseason Game With The Cardinals)
The Broncos take the Hall of Fame Game win after this wild TD catch
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) August 2, 2019
While still leading other networks with NBC’s primetime coverage, the NFL should be a tad concerned with the recent viewership of the first preseason game. I am sure this will make commissioner Roger Goodell consider a possible shorter preseason, and longer regular season to make more revenue.
On one hand, it is the first taste of professional football, since February’s disaster of a Super Bowl, but on the other hand it is still just preseason football and hardly comparable to watching the actual product during the regular season.
Watching the game, it was honestly hard to believe some of these players were in the NFL after several awful throws and terrible dropped passes.
Fans seem to not be as interested in pointless games between backups on national television, and I can’t say I blame them. My excitement for the NFL season was so high entering Thursday’s game, but after the first quarter I found myself watching regular season highlights on YouTube instead of the actual game.
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It is clear the NFL is going to have to make some sort of change to fix this game as popularity dwindles. Whether it’s shortening the preseason or ending it altogether like college football does, the league office should be busy figuring this out.