According to the Wall Street Journal, NFL viewership has plummeted over the first month of the 2016 season.
The drop has made advertisers start to take notice:
“We’re scratching our heads,” said Andy Donchin, chief domestic investment officer at Amplifi US, an ad-buying unit of Dentsu Aegis Network, whose clients include General Motors Co. “We cannot pinpoint any specific reason why the numbers are down. It is probably being caused by a confluence of events.”
However, neither the league nor the broadcasters seem to want to address the elephant in the room: recent player protests of the national anthem.
Have fans grown tired of the politicization of sports? After 9/11, many saw sports as an outlet for national unity and pride. But in 2016, major sports organizations are joining political debates. Just a few months ago we saw the NCAA and NBA join the misinformation campaign in North Carolina and cancel events over HB-2. But we shouldn’t forget that the NFL also fought against Religious Liberty protections in Georgia earlier this year.
If the current trend continues with NFL viewership, it may be a sign that the fans are indeed voting with their wallets, or, in the case, with their remote controls. Networks and other leagues that have aligned with liberal movements may want to take notice.
See more on where the NFL stands on all the issues in 2ndVote’s database here.