Americans Are Watching Less And Less Of The NFL, Season Opener Falls Flat

The NFL is not off to a great start.

The season-opening game between the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and the 2017 Super Bowl runner-up Atlanta Falcons looked to be a big game to kick start the 2018 season.

It flopped. Hard.

Drama and National Anthem protests plagued the sport last year and it looks like viewers are still not over the NFL’s handling of it.

After posting a dismal season opener in 2017, the NFL managed to somehow find a way to do worse.

From the Daily Wire:


After a tumultuous off-season marked by the league’s failed attempt to put the polarizing national anthem protests behind it, the 2018 season kicked off Thursday night with far fewer viewers tuning in than the previous year.

Despite a competitive game featuring teams that both managed to make it to the Super Bowl over the last two years — one losing in unprecedented fashion and the other winning in a remarkably entertaining game — the ratings were gloomy for a league hoping to rebound after the previous politically charged season.

Compared to last year, the season opener, starring the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and the previous season’s runner-up Atlanta Falcons, was down a troubling 8%, managing just a 13.4/5 in the metered markets, according to Deadline.

The rating metric hit a ten-year low.

Can someone say rock-bottom?

And, via Daily Mail:

Not only did Thursday mark the third consecutive ratings decline for the season’s first game, but the 13.4 rating is down roughly 25 percent from 2015, when the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots delivered a 17.7 rating in the last NFL opener before players began kneeling in protest during the national anthem the following season.

The NFL has struggled amidst those controversial protests, which began in 2016. The league’s overall ratings have dropped roughly 17 percent over that time, and according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the number of fans who claim to follow the league closely has fallen by 6 percent since 2014.

Ahead of the Thursday game, President Trump tweeted that the NFL viewership would continue to decline until players stop kneeling during the National Anthem. No players ended up kneeling during the Eagles-Flacons game.

“Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!”

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the views held by Sarah Palin.


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