A New Poll Shows Number One Reason NFL Ratings Are Plummeting

The NFL’s nosedive in TV ratings has been a major story across the sports and media landscape.

Long the nation’s TV juggernaut, ratings across the league’s broadcast partners are down 11% for 2016.

Everyone is scrambling for an answer, and a new poll reveals why the American people are turning away from professional football.

Yahoo and YouGov conducted a poll of 1,136 NFL fans.

While 27% reported they were watching more football, that number was surpassed by the 29% who stated they were watching fewer games.

Many in the media have pointed to the Presidential election, the absence of star quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, poor quality of play, and unattractive primetime matchups as the reason the league’s ratings are down.

But the number one reason fans cited in Yahoo’s poll for not watching NFL football was the national anthem protests that began with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Their poll also found that large percentages of fans would also boycott other sports if athletes copied Kaepernick’s anti-American protest.

Yahoo reports:

“Worth noting: the 40 percent of the “watching less NFL” group claiming protests as the reason represents 12 percent of all NFL fans. This is a sharp, though very much expected, decline from the 44 percent who claimed in a similar Yahoo study in early September that they would stop watching if protests continued.


Response to the protests continues to break down along age lines. More than half, 53 percent, of respondents 55 and over who said they are watching fewer games cited Kaepernick as the reason, while only 13 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 pointed to the protests as their reason for watching less football.


Should the protests migrate to other sports, respondents said they would cut back on viewing to the following degrees:


17 percent of NBA fans would watch fewer games


28 percent of baseball fans would watch fewer games


31 percent of hockey fans would watch fewer games”

Kaepernick’s protests have been hailed in some quarters of the media and have been reenacted at various levels of football.

Even players at high school recreational levels have begun disrespecting the American flag and armed services by refusing to stand for the national anthem.

But they are having a disastrous effect on the NFL’s bottom line.

NFL advertisers are purchasing ads at rates based on what they believe will be the NFL viewership.

For example, ads on Sunday Night Football – which is the crown jewel of the NFL’s broadcast package – cost nearly $700,000 for a 30 second ad.

But ratings have been down on that telecast.

The most recent matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks saw a 15% plunge from the year before.

Declining ratings means the league is being forced to offer “make good” ads, which are free spots to advertisers to make up for the fact the league isn’t delivering its promised audience.

The protests – which is the top reason given for why fans are not watching the games – are costing the league millions of dollars.

Will this lead to cracking down on the anti-American national anthem protests?

Let us know what you think in the comment section.

  • Hanging On

    We need to reinstate the draft, there is nothing like US military service to make these young people realize how fortunate they are to live in this country. Yes I am a Vietnam Vet and when you have to sacrifice for your country it makes it mean a lot more to you. These kids today think everything is owed to them. Other generations from WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam they were drafted and there were those that felt compelled to do their duty for the country but today only a very small segment of young people feel an obligation to serve their country while others whine about what everybody else owes them. A big salute to all the young people who are serving and have served.

    • Jola

      Great idea to reinstate the draft. The problem is — the delay to get this done. The owners and managers of the various teams could “fix this problem” in a single one minute announcement. “You are contracted and paid to play the game SO go play the game — nothing more nothing less.” — Taking a FULL one minute allows EVERY owner to put the case clearly and simply.

      • toothii

        Jerry Jones did just that!

    • Bama Bill

      I have only hired two college grads that lasted through their probationary period. Why? They can’t get to work on time two days in a row. Do not work four hours a day, on the phone, talking, leaving early for lunch and end of day. Given program specs, do not follow them, redesign to what they think would be best. They don’t even know who does what on the company organization chart. Start playing cards and eating lunch about 15 minutes before lunch, deal last hand at 12:55, then discuss game until 1:30!
      Parents, make your kids get a job in HS, and work during college. Best to let them work a couple of years before college. So they know what working is like and how to do it! IF they put some “Skin in the game”, they will now end up with a degree that has few if any jobs. Some should not go to college, vocational school may be best? If you “Love” your work, you enjoy going to work. Raising kids is much more than seeing they grow up. Hard work builds character, and give them confidence and skills. College with Lying, cheating, drinking till they “Blow chunks” and sex till they can’t “Do it” anymore will ruin their lives.
      Look at Trump, hard work doing construction and education took him a long way. Spoiled brat Hillary grew up in a $600,000 home in Chicago, private school, she has never held a job. Failed BAR exam, fired from first job at law firm. Failed as “First Lady”, Senator in N.Y., Secretary of State, and next week, ran for first female? president. Is a bi-sexual considered female??? I have no idea, and don’t G.A.S.

    • Bama Bill

      I served in the Navy on a Destroyer as a radioman, sailed Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Black seas. held security clearances. Honorably discharged. Sorry you had to serve in that mess. All because France had rubber plantations there, and Vietnam wanted them out. Johnson was a president I can’t comment on. At least in public! ‘Tanks for you service mate.

    • Bama Bill

      A “Hillary Nightmare”, Navy veterans, and the mothers of the Bengazi men that died on her jury! In time of war, treason is punished by firing squad. I would volunteer to lead one!

      • Candice White

        I would too against you.

    • Sharon Jeanguenat

      A big salute to YOU for your service! I still remember how Vietnam vets were treated. God bless you!

  • dave3200 ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ

    The problem could be solved quickly by dumping Roger Goodell and installing a Commissioner that puts the customers ahead of his/her political ideology. A legitimate businessman would do fine and wouldn’t cost $40mm per year.

  • toothii

    Ran a poll did ya? The answer was obvious and until the NFL and its commissioner show some stones, ratings will hopefully continue to plummet. Right now the only game I’ll watch is Dallas. Dallas is NOT my fave team, the NY Giants are. BUT, Jerry Jones is the only owner, to my knowledge, that has come out and stated emphatically that his players, coaches and staff will stand at attention during the playing of the national Anthem or they will be fired on the spot…NO MATTER WHO! The real reason I think the NFL as an organization has refused to put their foot down is because they still enjoy the Not-for-profit status with the IRS. Hard to believe that a multi-billion dollar entity has that kind of freedom from taxes. I’m sure the NFL doesn’t want to risk the ire of Pres. Obama who would certainly order the IRS to revoke that status, because he wholeheartedly supports the actions of one Colin Kaepernick and any one who would so disrespect our flag and country.

    • Bama Bill

      And how much are tickets? Since the unions took over it would cost me half a months SS check to take to grandsons to a ballgame in Atlanta! In 1975 my family of four paid $30! Why do these multi-millionaire “Playes” need a union? So the union can make millions! And pass it on to the Democrats! They made the laws that require all govt. contracts must go to the unons. Back to the Dems, and the “Merry Go Round” keeps on rolling!
      Who owns GM? Chrysler is owned by? Where does Ford build it’s cars?
      Bet ya can’t answer two of those questions?

      • toothii

        Sorry but the UAW owns most of GM, Chrysler is owned by Fiat (Italy) and Ford builds its cars in Canada , Mexico and I believe China. So your point is? The huge salaries in the NFL come mainly from TV rights and the huge ticket prices help pay for staff salaries, Owners and debt service on stadiums if they are not 100% publicly funded. I guess if they weren’t tax exempt, ticket prices would be even higher. Paying anyone to play a game and make millions is absurd to begin with and the public could right things fairly quickly if they truly boycotted all major league sports.

        • Bama Bill

          Cars are not built in the USA by American owned companies. Democrats are for “Open borders and trade” to quote hilLIARy. When that happens nothing will be made here!

          Publicly funded is right. When I lived in Ontario the govt. “GAVE” the railroad property to build the stadium. Then loaned hundreds of millions, of which they “Forgave” a good portion! Sadly in Canada you have zero control over government. Unions main function is to buy political favors and control the government. They actually hurt the employees and economy. In 1990 there were 41 states where Mfg. was number one job. Today, on six states. With thousands of abandoned factories across the country. I worked for companies in Ohio where unions forced plants to close. Every few years another wage increase, nothing for the employees except $$$.

          • toothii

            I agree with you 100%. I have family that lives in Canada and know it ain’t good there. You and I agree on just about all of it so again I ask, why did you seem confrontational in your first reply to my comments? WE are both Vets and I hope on the same page….

          • Bama Bill

            Just stating some additional information, not “Confronting”, my friend in Ontario is a government employee, he had to wait almost two years for his double hernia operation. Did you know Cdn. Drs. are “Federal Employees”? When I left Canada they were paid a salary of $97,500, which was worth about $60K in U.S. dollars then. No other income, so I wonder why people are not lining up to study medicine. They can become millionaires if they can marry into a political family. The govt. is pretty much a dictatorship, if you aren’t in the “Family” you can’t run. Two jewish families own TD, Royal, CIBC banks. When I worked at TD found they have hundreds of family as management. You pay for each deposit, withdrawl, check, etc. Savings acct. costs you, put $100 this year, go back next year to deposit another $100, Your balance will be under $200! OHIP and BCBS cost me more than my BCBS in the US. First year made $80,000, paid over $40,000 in taxes! When wife died I moved back home.

          • toothii

            That is exactly why Socialism doesn’t work. or I should say, Socialism works until you run out of other people’s money! This is where the dems want to take us and I refuse to go down that path. If HRC wins and manages to stay out of jail, I predict there will be armed insurrections in the US. A very sad state of affairs.

          • Bama Bill

            I decided that rather than spend my life working in a “Union Shop”, I would learn a technical trade. Became a computer programmer, worked up to analyst, project leader eventually. Studying all the time. When will people learn? You can’t get rich working for a union. You just put the company out of business! The auto industry is a good example. It made us “Sitting Duck” for foreign companies to sell their cars here. Now Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, and Hundai built over one million cars here in Alabama last year. Starting pay at Hyundai is $13/hr. last I heard?
            Union workers at big 3 are making over $70/hr.
            In 2013, the percentage of workers belonging to a union was 11.3%, compared to 20.1% in 1983.
            The “Proof is in the Pudding”.

          • Daniel Spickard

            I say pass a bill to greatly limit unions to what they can fight for! By taking a lot of power away from the unions and put it back into the hands of the people will bring companies back into the US! The other way would to put high tariffs on all imports! Make the import tariffs to such that it would either bring import prices to equal the price of American made, or to make it more expensive than American made! Unions today are more corrupt than the company owners were before unions were born!

          • Bama Bill

            One small problem, we have to go “Barefoot”, China makes almost all our shoes! Want a car? Buy Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, or Hundai. They built over 1 million cars here in Alabama last year. I say put “Unions” on the ballot and let us vote. If they lose, can you say, “Goodbye” unions. What purpose do they serve? Other than to fund the Democrats and put companies out of business. In 1968 my new “Special Order” Mustang listed for $3,065, today a showroom on lists for $32,000. So another 50 years, $320,000? Unions and “GOVVIEMINT” know best!
            We can’t export when our products cost ten times what they do in China, Japan, Korea, etc. I know that with “Common Core” high school grads can’t add, let alone do factoring. Fact, college student handed a $50 bill and a check for 65.10. She could not add them together, and would not believe me when I added them on a piece of paper. Called manager! NUTS!

    • Daniel Spickard

      The best way to end this is to out right fire these people that disrespect our country! Make it a breach of contract to intentionally disrupt a game to insight disrespect! I bet after one or two high paid athletes get canned, the rest would come to their senses!

      • toothii

        A la Jerry Jones!

  • Chickasaw1

    Our family and extended family are refusing to watch NFL because of disrespecting our armed forces who fight and die under our flag!

  • David Stewart

    I would almost bet that, in order to survive, ALL professional sports will soon begin omitting the National Anthem, player protests will destroy their sport, otherwise!

    • Jola

      If you are correct — the RIGHT in this country will go ballistic. I gave up all “games” and now watch NASCAR exclusively — the only true patriotic sport left. NASCAR fans embrace manufacturers from all countries and drivers from across the “racial divide” AND STAND FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. GO NASCAR.

      • Bama Bill

        May I suggest college softball? The girls teams have lots of action, and are “Good sports”. Never a dugout brawl to be seen. They actually line up and shake hands after the game. REAL “SportsLady” conduct. Sportsmanship is “Dead”, sorry to say.

        • Jola

          Thanks for the tip. I have never been a softball fan. Time to give it a “shot”. Maybe “the ladies” will do justice to the National Anthem.

          • Bama Bill

            Since their batting averages are around .400 there is lots more action. Base running, stealing bases, not just an “Almost a no hitter” games. Their enthusiasm and cheering is non stop. And after the game keep watching, the all shake hands and chat. Far more “Entertaining” that pro baseball.

  • ReaperHD

    Gave up my NFL Package and I gave them 3 games to stop these Kapendickhead Anthem BS and terminated the service before 4th games started and I have been watching movies before I turn on the games like I use to. There wasn’t any game that I couldn’t watch and really enjoyed myself watching the games and it’s no more.

  • Ralph

    I love football but have stopped watching, thanks rams.

  • Mileaway

    There is NO place for politics on the field of honor. I won’t support the NFL or any other organization that supports the likes of Kapernick. That includes the sponsors! Football is an American specific game and for Kapernick or anyone else to slap this American; well they can kiss money money goodbye!
    I say bring back the draft, then we will see what kind of heros these chumps are!

  • Bama Bill

    I will NEVER watch any “Union” sports event! Besides high school and college sports are much more ‘Sportsmen” like than these spoiled brat multi-millionaires who ride around in private jets with one flight attendant per player! The reason they are “Union” is for the unions to make millions, and then pass it around the merry go round to the Democrats! Mafia, Unions, Democrats, back to “Union Contracts”. Wake up you stupid union members. GM is owned by the UAW, Chrysler by Fiat, and Ford builds no cars in the USA! BUT, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, and Hundai all built over one million cars in Alabama last year! WHy, “RIght to Work’ law here.
    Screw the UNIONS!

  • Terry Kimbrough

    The problem is that we have NFL owners with no guts, players that are grossly overpaid, and this follows a trend of elected officials, including the president, that have no respect for the country that allowed them to get where they are. NFL players are the best of the best in their profession. Their careers are short, usually 6-10 years at most positions. They should be well compensated and have a good annuity (retirement) program, but $6-10 million per year to play a sport, any sport, really????

    • Bama Bill

      Can you say “Thanks Unions”?

    • Bama Bill

      With the money they make they should fund their own retirement. Any financial advisor worth anything could set them up. Get the unions the hell out for sports! They are only there for themselves.

  • Anvil6

    I’m not just ‘watching fewer’ NFL games, I’m NOT WATCHING ANY.
    I’m not just ‘buying less’ NFL merchandise, I’m NOT BUYING ANY.
    I’m not paying those who disrespect our flag and our military.

    • Smart Southerner

      We didn’t renew the NFL Ticket on Direct TV, either.

  • Bob D

    Absolutely watching fewer games do to protests. The League needs to suspend these players it a disgrace they can get away with this. Hanging on is right I’m a Vietnam era vet as well and they should reinstate the draft to make men out of these wimps. Do you realize that less then 1 percent serve in our armed forces.

  • ladyhuckleberry

    Like it or not Kapernick brought things out for not only one thing but many. Granted the Rainbow Child had his right to but saying what he did while employed with one of the Nation’s Largest Employers was wrong. He may not have thought of the consequences but I’m sure that at the time he didn’t think it’d hurt anybody. Though I’m not taking up for him, as I love this Country and some of the finest that live here I do believe he exercised his Right of Speech. He just didn’t do it out of what his contract had him agree to: to represent the game.

  • A spoiled brat, who happens to be a fair quarterback, needed attention. The P.C. press was happy to comply.
    I watch football to get away from this crap. If the brat wants to protest, keep it off the field and out of uniform. This has nothing to do with “rights” and everything to do with ego. I have voted with my feet. By the way NFL morons, you do control the cameras and the announcers—-Hello???


    If the decline is related to the rude acts against America by some and possibly promoted by the NFL then this is an example of how we the people have control over many happenings that are un- American. Hit them where it hurts most, $$

  • Jim Kellely

    Its much more than the Flag issue. Sure, that is important but i,m sick and tired of supporting all the Thugs, Abusers, Druggies, and Murders in professional sports. I won,t watch another NFL or NBA game. Yep, I’m a die hard conservative and don,t appreciate your “liberal” biased attitude. You might want to take a hard look at demographics as well. Oh, by the way; I dont see nor hear any white athletes complaining about racial equality! Good luck but count me out

  • Daniel Spickard

    I believe people are starting to wake up to what Obama and Hillary Clinton are doing! I just wished that the team owners wake up to what their actions are costing the league! I guess that will only happen when the NFL actually hits rock bottom! And at the rate a lot of those idiots are going with the National Anthem, I believe that the NFL will be bankrupt by the end of this season!

  • Smart Southerner

    Can’t believe they needed to conduct a poll. Patriotic Americans hate Kapperdick who supports the BLM domestic terrorist group that stomps & burns our flag and ambushes & murders our policemen.

    We went from “everything” NFL to “zero” NFL. Respect for my country & our police officers mean a lot more to us than some filthy rich mediocre football player with his head up his azz.

    BLM was born from the “Hands Up” blatant lie and is funded by one of the most evil Commie globalists on the planet, George Soros.

  • Sharon Jeanguenat

    If the NFL DOESN’T stop this, then more & more people will stop watching. The players ARE entitled to their opinion, BUT, we shouldn’t be forced to watch it on t.v. Pro football is actually a job, & players are paid according to how good they are. These guys that are protesting, are protesting against the very things that allows them to become millionaires in the first place. Kaepernik & anybody else that doesn’t like the National Anthem & our flag, need to just leave America completely, & see if they can find another country to their liking.

  • freethinker4

    I think we need to expand the boycott to the N.C.A.A.because they moved Championship events from North Carolina, Citing Anti-Gay-Rights Law. The majority of the people in this country do not believe in gay rights and marriage and I don’t like being forced to except what I feel is immoral. I will never watch NCAA sports again.