The Fight for Ratings

by Dylan Goldman

In America, The NFL has been everyone’s favorite league to watch for years. The Super Bowl has always captivated the attention of the nation, whether you like football or not.

In fact, the NFL’s ratings were at an all-time high last year, but that isn’t the case this year. The NFL has seen its ratings decrease by 12 percent this season, and there are a plethora of reasons as to why the NFL has seen its ratings decline.

The 2016 presidential election has been in full swing during the first half of the NFL season. Two presidential debates have been held during primetime games. However, the NFL ratings have been down during every presidential campaign since 1996. The election could be a part of the decline, but there are other causes for the dip in ratings.

According to a Seton Hall Sports poll, fans say that the cause for the ratings decline is the national anthem protests sparked by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Fifty-six percent of participants in the poll say that is the main reason that many people aren’t watching the NFL.

Despite the poll, the national anthem protests likely don’t have much of a bearing on the ratings. On the other hand, the quality of play on the field has taken a severe decline.


Graphic provided by USA Today


There have been two ties in back-to-back weeks, including a 6-6 draw on Sunday Night Football between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. The primetime games have been unwatchable.

Along with that 6-6 tie, the Denver Broncos defeated the Houston Texans 27-9 on Monday Night Football. On Thursday Night Football, the Tennessee Titans throttled the Jacksonville Jaguars 36-22.

There are not many teams that have great records, and the talent is lacking for most teams. There are only six teams that entered Week 10 with six or more wins, while there is still one winless team this season.

There are many teams that don’t have a star at quarterback, which might be the reason why some teams haven’t won many games yet. For the first quarter of the season, Tom Brady was suspended, and the league is still adjusting to the retirement of Peyton Manning.

Officiating is another likely cause for the ratings decline, as referees called 1,288 penalties through the first week of the season.

The concern over concussions and the MLB postseason, especially with the lovable Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, has definitely taken some of the nation’s attention away from football.

The bottom line is that the NFL is still a premiere entertainment organization, but there are obvious reasons for the 12 percent decline in TV ratings.


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