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Why are the NFL Ratings Down This Season?

on Saturday, 03 December 2016. Posted in Back Sport s Page Question Of The Day!

BSP Question Of The Day

Why are the NFL Ratings Down This Season?

Every Week Back Sports Page asks Five Questions to staff and experts. The questions and answers are posted throughout this week on Backsportspage.com.

This week we put the focus around the world of sports!! Check out BSP for this week’s questions We have multiple Back Sports Page Contributors to give their insights to our questions.

Here is Today's Question:

Why are the NFL ratings down this season?

Eric Webb (Back Sports Page):I think the NFL ratings are down this season possibly for a couple of reasons. One possible reason is Kaepernick’s protests. In the beginning of the season many people whined about his kneeling and threatened to stop watching the NFL so this may be the result of them uniting and sticking to their word. Another reason could be because of how relentless the referees are when it comes to blowing that whistle. It seems like there can’t be more than three snaps in a row without a penalty being called. This slows down the game and makes it unpleasant for viewers.

Ryan Morik (Beast of the East Sports):There are a lot of reasons why ratings are down. The election did not help, but there's almost too much football. Thursday night games (that stink), Monday night, we never thought it would be a thing, but there is indeed too much football. On top of that, the product on the field just is not good as it's been. Plus, I think a lot of people are fed up with how corrupt the league is. Guys are getting suspended longer for weed than beating a woman. Something is not right about that. Oh, and don't wear cleats that commemorate Muhammad Ali, that just can't happen. Good going, NFL.

Matt Berkson (Back Sports Page): Great question, and there’s are multiple answers here. Roughly in order…

1. There are too many nationally televised games - It used to be that Monday Night Football was the marquee game of the week. Now the NFL is trying to make Sunday night that game, but they’ve also given us Thursday night football, 9:30am football in London, and in a few weeks, Saturday night football. If the NFL had it’s way, football would be on every night of the week. Thankfully it’s not, as the more it’s on, the more it’s watered down as we are all exposed to the bottom third of the NFL, which has some truly bad teams in it.

2. Thursday Night Football - Speaking of Thursday Night Football, this is truly the worst game of the week. There is something awesome about the NFL not starting until Sunday each week, so having a game on Thursday feels off – Like you cannot give your full attention to it. From the players’ perspective, how in the world can we think that any player could be ready after only three full days of rest after a Sunday game? Plus there’s less time for coaches to gameplan so the NFL is selling less of a product with their introductory game each week. Frankly it reeks of an NFL money-grab and in addition to poor play I think the fans pick up on this and are become apathetic.

3. Roger Goodell – Quite frankly…He’s a very poor sports commissioner. It is my opinion that he really just isn’t that bright. Over and over he handles situations poorly and seems incapable of intelligently expressing to the public why he made those decisions. For example, how is it that Tom Brady gets a 4 game suspension for inflating footballs, but yet Josh Brown gets only one game for physically abusing his wife. Goodell has too much power (a point I’m confident which will be a major hangup in the CBA negotiations), and he seems to have little to no consistency on how he wields it. The only thing you can count on with him is that he will bend to the will of the owners and doesn’t ever seem to make the correct decisions in terms of the right thing to do.

4. Injuries – We can debate why they’re happening, but the bottom line is that they are taking the players that people pay money to see off the field. I wouldn’t even have the energy to look up all the superb players who’ve missed a game, much less who are on IR, in 2016, but the list is way too large. Could it be that the current CBA mandates less practices than in the past? Possibly, but this is something the NFL should invest in. Over and over the past few years we’ve heard from Goodell/the NFL how much they care about player safety. That doesn’t seem to be the case given their insistence on Thursday Night Football, but here’s a chance to put their money where their mouth is and research and improve players’ overall health so they are more likely to play each week.

Bill Keagle (Under The Hoodies, Back Sports Page): The election was a huge issue for prime time game ratings, which have since gone up with the election being over. The early game ratings are suffering from a less than ideal product generally happening around the league.

Ashley Mayle (Back Sports Page): NFL ratings could be down for a number of reasons. One, we just came off one of the hottest World Series events in years! Chicago and Cleveland were battling it out for a title neither have won in a very long time. Plus Cleveland was fighting for the second champion title in 2016?! I will tell you football was not on my mind during October baseball. Another reason for the decline in NFL ratings could be due to that historic Presidential race that just happened. I mean I have never seen anything like it! It was just draw-dropping!

Anthony Zunita (Back Sports Page):The NFL ratings going down may be because of the recent scandals surrounding the league. The casual fan may be turned off by the concussion and CTE issues with the NFL and the domestic violence allegations surrounding numerous players. Also the excessive commercial break after every extra point and kickoff may irritate viewers who aren't that invested.

Danielle McCartan (Pro Sports Rundown, 60 Minute Overdown): Easy: NFL ratings are down this season because of the number of time slots in which football is played: Thursday Night Football, Sunday morning (London games), Sunday afternoon, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football... the Jets even have an upcoming Saturday night game! Personally, having football more accessible is a concept I enjoy. I like watching out-of-market teams play. Although ratings are "down", instead of focusing on that, the NFL needs to revolutionize the way it markets its product, capitalizing on the fact that it has a captive audience for 5-6 major time slots each week.

Scott Thompson (Beast Of The East Sports):One of the main reasons has to be the “No Fun League” mantra that the NFL embodies today. Football clearly is not the game it used to be. Trash talking and butting helmets was a normal part of the game, but now it is flagged. Big hits used to be highlights, however, they are condemned. Celebrations in the end zone has been the biggest controversial topic this season as well as one wrong gesture is an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I think fans don’t like the fact that the league is trying to stop the modern-day progression of sports. The MLB and NBA embrace their stars showboating and celebrating, yet the NFL wants to flag and fine wherever they can. This is why I’m not surprised ratings are down.

Nicole Monique (That's What She Said Sports): The NFL got greedy – too much of a good thing isn’t always good. Thursday night, Sunday (all day) then Sunday night and then Monday night. Come on already – that’s just too much – I love ice cream but I don’t want it every day. The over saturation of the game and then the NFL not seeming to care about players safety with all the games has many fans burnt out. It doesn’t seem right for a team to play on Sunday and then turn around and play Thursday that’s way too much. Yes it’s fun to watch but it’s too much to watch and let’s give the players a break.

Steve Saunders (Back Sports Page): The NFL is facing a serious PR crisis in an overreactive society. Concussions, Kaepernick and controversy have turned many people off (right or wrong) of the game. There also seems to be a witch hunt in the media for athletes who make mistakes. Be it domestic violence, sexual assault or drug abuse, jocks behaving badly is always front page news and everything is blown way out of proportion. Jamal Lewis wasn't punished enough? The NFL hates women! A frankly mediocre, undersized defensive player without a position is cut? The NFL hates LGBT people! Kaepernick is benched in favor of a better quarterback after sitting out the national anthem? The NFL hates POC! Unfortunately, people start believing it

Ted Hicks (Baseball, Beer, BBQ): Simple - The American media shoved a toxic election season down our throats, poor NFL matchups early on during the season and saturation of professional football on our screens (Connected TV's, mobile phones & tablets) have moved the viewer to the breaking point. Do you remember when watching a pro football game on Sunday and/or Monday night was something special?

The league (this offseason) has to re-think / retool the time-slots for their international series in London -- TNF needs to go back to a 8 game (2nd half of the season) package -- and clarify their Sunday 1pm / 425p schedules for CBS/FOX.... There should a total of 5 games available. Local teams are your priority, w/premiere flexible matchups as the alternative. Leave SNF as it is....it works perfectly. (However, it should flex more [similar to what ESPN does w/MLB])

Streaming options shd be standard for TNF, SNF via one dedicated provider --- yes, it should still be un-authenticated way to view the content.

Katie Hutchinson(Back Sports Page): I don't know that any of us know for sure. However, if I had to go with one main reason it would be the officiating. I mean although we want the players to be safe, we also want to see them be allowed to play the game as it was intended. There are more penalties than ever before. Plus, add in the crack down on celebrations, and you have yourself a lackluster show at times.

Steve Spanop (Back Sports Page): NFL ratings are down this year with many possible reasons. Ratings were doomed this year regardless compared to last years number considering the emergence of daily fantasy sports last season. There were many DFS players tuned into many games at one time creating inflated numbers. This year brought many distractions with the Presidential race being a big one. As far as what the NFL itself could do better, is have better primetime games. This year lacked good primetime games and the young people now days don’t have the patience for boring 4-hour games. There are many options for viewers these days both young and older with online being a hot spot for new age viewers. The NFL is transitioning with the times in their broadcastingof games on twitter but with out the competitive games people will find something else to watch.

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