This past weekend the NFL had three very competitive games among its four divisional round playoff contests.
Unfortunately for the league, ratings continued to plummet.
In fact, ratings are plummeting so much that virtually no major media outlets are even talking about ratings at all. It’s almost like the league and its television partners have put out the code red not to acknowledge the collapse in viewership so far in 2018.
Here are the ugly details head to head in the same timeslots as last year:
Saints-Vikings 35.6 million viewers
Packers-Cowboys 48.5 million viewers
Jags-Steelers 31.4 million viewers
Steelers-Chiefs 37.1 million viewers
Titans-Patriots 26.7 million viewers
Texans-Patriots 29.8 million viewers
Falcons-Eagles 27.1 million viewers
Seahawks-Falcons 28.7 million viewers
Yep, every single game was down, no matter how good the games were. And, remember, three of these games were highly competitive in the divisional round this year. Whereas last year only two of the games were competitive. Hell, three of the four windows even feature one of the same teams from last year. And yes, I know, the Cowboys and the Packers played last year and those are the two biggest fan base draws in the NFL, but even if you pull that game out the numbers for the other three games also declined double digits. (The three other games were down 15.3%, 10.4% and 5.6%)
Adding all these numbers up 120.8 million viewers watched the NFL divisional round playoffs in 2018 vs. 144.1 million who watched in 2017, a decline of 23.3 million total viewers.
That’s an overall viewership decline of over 16%, even steeper than last week’s 13% playoff decline. (Even if you leave out the Packers-Cowboys numbers completely the NFL playoff ratings would have still been down 10.3%).
These playoff numbers weren’t just bad compared to last year either, they hit a ten year low.
Will that change this coming weekend with the AFC and NFC title games? We’ll see. But no matter how you slice it, the NFL ratings, both playoff and regular season, are collapsing in 2018.
In fact, playoff rating declines have been even worse than regular season rating declines.
It’s almost like fans are fed up with the politicization of football.
Nah, that couldn’t be it.
Probably just another reason.
Let’s talk more about Colin Kaepernick and players kneeling!
NFL Ratings Continue To Fumble
The NFL – suffering from dismal ratings for last week’s opening game and Sunday Night Football, may be in for a serious decline in viewers this season if Dallas local TV ratings are any indicator – after the Cowboys registered their lowest local ratings since 2009.
the Dallas market is an important market for one of the most watched teams in the country. There is a reason the Cowboys are valued at over $4 billion dollars. They absolutely own Dallas Fort-Worth. Nothing else really matters.
The NFL does not want to see one of it’s most important market losing fans. It’s not a good look. It’s cause for concern. -Touchdownwire
That said, some have pointed out that the cowboys are “boring” now…
No one should be surprised. The Cowboys, while still a compelling aspect of the overall fabric of the NFL, have become a somewhat boring team, with a Salisbury-steak-and-lumpy-spuds offense that features two stars, a diminished offensive line, and a collection of No. 2 and No. 3 receivers. -Profootballtalk
Less viewers, more money
Despite a steady decline in viewership over the last three years, advertising revenues have continued to climb.
“Everyone loves to focus on the ratings, and everyone loves to focus on the NFL because it is the biggest ratings on television,” said Brian Rolapp, the league’s head of media. “But the reality is: Historically, the ratings of the NFL have always gone up, they’ve just never gone up in a straight line.”
NFL Fans Love the New Anthem Rule
NFL fans are in overwhelming support of the NFL’s new anthem policy, according to a Yahoo! Sports/YouGov poll.
According to Yahoo! Sports, “When asked if they support or oppose the new policy, which states teams will be fined if players “do not stand and show respect for the flag and the [national] anthem,” 53 percent of self-described NFL viewers said they support the policy, with 32 percent opposing and 15 percent saying neither or no opinion.”
In terms of the racial breakdown of the poll, whites and Hispanics strongly supported the new rule. While the measure was found to be considerably less popular among blacks:
White: 52% support; 32% oppose
Black: 29% support; 48% oppose
Hispanic: 49% support; 19% oppose
When asked whether the NFL should have an anthem policy regarding player conduct, the numbers showed sharp divisions as well.
Los Angeles Rams’ Add Male Cheerleaders
For the first time, an NFL team will have men as part of its official spirit squad.
Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, named to the Los Angeles Rams squad this week, will be the first ones to perform the same routine as the female dancers. The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts have men who perform stunts with female cheerleaders, but don’t dance.
Peron and Jinnies are both classically trained dancers and have been performing their entire lives.
But what made them take this groundbreaking step?
“I thought, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I do this?’ ” Peron said in an interview Wednesday on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America.
The men were among the 76 finalists chosen for the 40-person squad. Jinnies said the auditions were unlike any he’s ever been through before.
“This one was about three weeks long and we had a bunch of rehearsals in between and an extensive interview process, but it was really humbling and amazing to be invited every time you came back,” he said.