News

Double-Digit Ratings Drop for NFL’s Week 1

Week 1 was a “tough start for the NFL,” say researchers from UBS.

Yahoo! Finance reports every game slot for the National Football League’s opening weekend suffered a ratings drop compared to 2016, except for Sunday Night Football, a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Thursday Night’s season opener, between the Patriots and Chiefs, rated a 14.6, which is 11.5% down from 2016, and 17.5% down from 2015. This marks four years in a row that the season opener has seen a ratings decline vs the year before.

Sunday’s afternoon games did the worst: regional games on CBS fell 17%, regional games on Fox fell 28%, and the Sunday afternoon national game on Fox fell 17%.

Both games of the Monday Night Football Week 1 double-header were also down. The first game, between the Saints and Vikings, rated a 4.2, a 12.5% drop from the first Monday Night game last year; the second game, between the Chargers and Broncos, rated a 3.9, a 7% drop.

Some commentators have suggested that viewers were distracted by Hurricane Irma coverage on major cable networks over the weekend. However, this could be the latest spin explain the falling ratings, much like coverage of the presidential election was blamed on lower viewership in 2016. After all, college football’s comparable primetime slot on ABC this past weekend increased by around 40% more viewers over 2016.

Remember, 44% of fans have said they would stop watching NFL games if the anthem protests continued. The league has also taken controversial positions against religious liberty protections in states like Georgia and Texas over the past two years. It is appearing more and more that fans want the NFL to focus on football, and not politics.

Click here to see more research on the NFL’s political positions in 2ndVote’s database.

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  • John

    I didn’t watch any NFL games this past weekend and as long as their “protest” goes on, I’ll protest by not watching or buying anything NFL related.

    • No Regerts

      Good for you! The last thing we need is people supporting organizations who allow their members to freely exercise their freedoms while facing potential repercussion from fans, coaches, managers, etc

      • John

        I’m just freely exercising my freedoms like they are. You have a problem with that regerts?

      • Detfan1

        I am not allowed to protest at work . . .

      • Appreciate

        So “No Regerts”, you think it’s just peachy to cause the company that pays you millions to do your job to lose a monstrous amount of their money because you think it’s a good decision to exploit your JOB for your own social activism? Do you think that company then has the right to fire you for using their time to “protest” and losing them tons of money? I do! But because I can’t actually fire that EMPLOYEE, I can exercise my rights not to watch. Decisions have consequences and I’d like to see unemployment be that consequence for any player using their job as a platform for their own social cause. Hey, and let’s not worry about all of our fellow players who will be economically impacted by your selfish decision, right?

        You know what else I know? You are, as is all of the left, just another typical hypocrite. Trust me, if a bunch of white players started using their job to protest something like Americans losing jobs to HB Visa holders (as an example), you would be the FIRST one screaming loudest for them to do it on their own time. You would also be the first to call them bigots and racists even though ALL races are and have always been racist to a certain degree and blacks, particularly tribal blacks, certainly are not exempt from that.

        These overpaid football players need to show up, show respect for their country and their fellow Americans and for those Americans who have died protecting that flag and all the liberties and freedoms it stands for, play to their best ability, collect their extravagant paycheck and then exercise their “activism” on their own time and on their own dime.

  • ZACAL

    I only watch College games. The NFL has gone rogue with radical political views on everything from flags to sex.

  • Devorah Pace

    WELL, we have ANOTHER NFL SEASON WITH HIGHLY PAID PLAYERS who FEEL they feel the need to SIT FOR AMERICAN PATRIOTISM and PLAYING THE AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM. OUR FAMILY’S CURE FOR THIS NFL INSOLENCE IS the SCIENCE CHANNEL’s
    BATTLEbots. DESIGNED BY HIGHLY SKILLED ENGINEERS, engineering students AND TINKERERS, this show is a BATTLE WITHOUT politics and LIES of deception. WE USED TO HAVE SEASON NFL TICKETS🇺🇸⚠ WE FOUND BETTER USE OF THAT MONEY…Retirement😎🌴

    • No Regerts

      I agree attending sports games is expensive and the money is better used for investment. However, you have to remember these people are not protesting against our troops, they are raising awareness against the unnecessary killings of people at the hands of the police.

      • John

        And Regerts, how are they protesting police brutality by disrespecting our flag and national anthem? With many people, myself included, I have no problem with WHAT they’re protesting against, it’s the manner in which they are protesting that draws ire.

      • Detfan1

        That is not what it looks like. It looks like they are disrespecting the Unites States of America. They can “protest” on their time, preferably at an abortion clinic, since murders there are 787,827% higher than wrongful deaths involving our police force.

        • Appreciate

          That is what I don’t understand. They are being paid to do their job, not to protest. They can protest on THEIR time and on THEIR dime all they want. But you don’t do this at work unless you want to get fired. Fire them!

  • No Regerts

    Protesting the NFL because players are excercising their freedom of speech is the equivalent of not celebrating 4th of July because our government allows protests from known violent/terrorists organizations.

    • Detfan1

      Yor pemise is flawed . . .

  • Larry Peterson

    Guess what I discovered. I can have a perfectly fine Sunday without the NFL—it just “ain’t what it used to be”. BTW folks–Freedom of Speech does not mean “Total Disrespect” for what the Flag represents. You do not “spit” in your Mom’s face because some of your siblings are out of order. Mom taught them better.

  • Louis Charles

    I look forward to when the CFL comes about… Christian Football League. Tim Tebow can be on the Board; perhaps Chairman. Watch the ratings of that opening day!

  • Louis Charles

    NFL Not Fun League.

  • Sal Sclafani

    If the owners do not put a stop to this they will feel it in the pocketbook! I for one will not watch the games, and if I am watching and someone pulls that stunt I will turn it off. Don’t need my country trashed any more. Had eight years of that behavior already