NFL TV ratings take a dip, and I am not surprised
First off, I would like say thank you for all the positive feedback I received from my last opinion column regarding my own personal boycott of the NBA. For my next act, I would like to take a closer look at the recently poor television ratings of another league I have enjoyed following since the mid 80s; the NFL.
According to an Oct. 12 article by John Ourand of sportsbusinessdaily.com, NFL television ratings are down 10 percent from last year, and NBC’s Sunday Night Football is down 14 percent from just one year ago. However, Monday Night Football ratings are up a percent through the season’s first four weeks.
In the grand scheme of things, this is not a dramatic drop in ratings as the NFL routinely draws tens of millions of viewers for each game. But in an era of social distancing where people are encouraged to stay at home, and in a job climate where many Americans have more leisure time due to being out of work, how could the nation’s most popular sport experience falling ratings?
Quite honestly, I do not have a concrete answer. It could be that cord cutting people like me are tightening their budgets, and finding better cost effective ways to consume sports. Why pay for expensive cable tv packages and sit through a three hour ballgame, when anybody with a phone or mobile device can get instant highlights of every game anytime they please?
It could also be that due to the interruption of the normal sports schedule, the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL are all competing with one another for the same time slots like never before. However, I find this reasoning to be flawed because as a lifelong sports fan, I along with most other sports fans I know, can regularly follow multiple events at the same time. For example, on the night of the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing extravaganza in 2015, I remember flipping channels in between rounds so I could follow the NBA Playoffs. During March Madness, it is not uncommon for me to keep tabs on multiple games as well.
Another possible explanation for the ratings dip could be because of the incessant social justice messaging done by both the NFL players, and the league itself. Perhaps average American fans like me find it either comical, insulting, or both, that a group of athletes who likely own jewelry worth more than the house I grew up in, refuse to take five minutes out of their day to stand for the country that made them wealthy beyond belief. As a college graduate who is still paying off student loans for a degree I earned 17 years ago, I wonder if those poor and oppressed kneeling players had to pay for their college education at all, in a nation that has supposedly held them back for generations.
Despite having virtually no hard evidence or data to prove otherwise, those among the liberal media elite insist there is no correlation between poor ratings and social justice messaging by pro sports leagues. In an Oct. 6 article on profootballtalk.com written by Mike Florio, he states “those who will respond to this item by chanting “go woke, go broke” or whatever other catchphrase is currently being used by those who want politics out of sports while simultaneously injecting their own politics into sports, that’s a tired and inaccurate take.”
I challenge Mr. Florio simply to provide any indisputable evidence that would prove “go woke, get broke” is as inaccurate as he claims. Admittedly, I cannot prove what percentage of fans have tuned out of the NFL due to its exhaustive social justice campaigning, but to blantly ignore the correlation as he did is nothing short of arrogant.
In the same article, Florio states the NFL TV ratings also took a hit during the 2016 election, with a 14-percent drop for nine weeks prior to the election. Coincidentally or not, 2016 happened to be the same season in which social justice hall of famer and ex-pro athlete Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the National Anthem. Again, for Florio to completely ignore the 2016 ratings drop and the Kaepernick kneeling phenomenon happened at the same exact point in time is simply arrogant and irresponsible.
I suspect Florio, like most other left-wing media hacks, seemingly wants to put a guilt trip on common sense Americans who dare change the channel as to reject social justice messaging and virtue signaling at sporting events. After all, he needs to take a self-serving position as a shill for the NFL in order to justify his job and salary.
In closing, I feel as pro sports leagues and media counterparts continue to push far left-wing politics into the game, conservative fans as well as moderates on both sides of the political isle, will eventually grow tired of the constant lecturing by unqualified individuals and simply find something else to do. Then as viewership of games decline, eventually the market will correct itself, thus reducing the overall revenue pot when pro sports leagues and TV companies begin new contract negotiations. My prediction of the decline in pro sports will not happen over night, or even in the next five years, but I believe it is happening right now as we speak; one pre-game protest at a time.