NFL ratings have declined through the first four weeks of the season.
According to Sports Business Journal, viewership on average is down roughly 10% from 2019. Through the first four weeks of the 2020 season, the NFL is averaging 14.6 million viewers across networks carrying games. That number was 16.3 million at this time last season. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
SBJ cited the election and a crowded sports schedule as possible explanations for why the numbers have dipped.
#NFL TV viewership through Week 4 is down around 10% from the same period last season, From 16.3 million average viewers to 14.6 million. A crowded sports schedule, heavy election coverage and more have contributed to the dip (@AustinKarp).
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) October 8, 2020
I’ll be the first person to admit that there are probably several reasons as to why the NFL’s ratings are down. Could the crowded schedule be part of it? Sure. Could the election impact the numbers? It’s more than possible. It’s worth noting that in 2016 when there was a similar dip during the election, it was probably not because of the election.
That’s when Colin Kaepernick started his incredibly stupid national anthem protest.
Having said that, I’ll be the first person to say that the league getting political is insanely stupid. The average NFL fan doesn’t want to be lectured by millionaire athletes, and we don’t want the sport to become a debate about the anthem.
That’s a lesson the NBA and Adam Silver have learned in the harshest way possible with their TV ratings, and Silver even said the political messages are going to likely be gone starting next season.
We don’t want to have political ideologies slammed down our throats.
Hopefully, the NFL finds a way to bounce back in a big way. We love football. We just hate the sport becoming politicized.