TV ratings data have the NFL looking at massive losses
The NFL started the season believing that their fans’ anger over players protesting the national anthem would quickly be forgotten.
But much like the Cleveland Browns’ playoff hopes, those notions were quickly dashed.
Four weeks into the season and the NFL is getting hit where it hurts most.
“This season, network viewership is down about 10% from last season, according to Nielsen data, with steeper declines for prime-time games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “The drop has caught advertisers and rights holders off guard and left them scrambling to find a cause.”
Why are viewers refusing to tune in?
Because of Colin Kaepernick and the effort by liberals to politicize the games.
“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that nearly one-third (32%) of American Adults say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of Black Lives Matter protests by players on the field,” the polling firm reports.
The NFL had collected $7.3 billion in revenue in 2014.
That was a 21 percent increase over the previous year.
The NFL was still 32 teams playing in 70,000-100,000 seat stadiums.
And the one thing that has accounted for the massive increase in NFL value and revenues?
In 2014 the NFL signed a new nine-year TV contract with Fox, NBC and CBS. Along with their deal with ESPN, network broadcasts of games pay the league a stunning $5 billion a year.
DirecTV has a separate deal paying the NFL $1.25 billion a year.
The NFL inked the deal based on projections that TV viewership would continue to grow.
So that has the league in panic mode over this seasons 10 percent plunge in ratings.
At $6.25 billion a year, just a five percent loss in the value of its TV contracts adds up to $312,500,000 a year.
If the NFL had to sign another nine-year contract with only a five percent drop in value, the league would lose a total over $2.8 billion.
A $2.8 billion loss. All due to just a five percent dip.
TV ratings are currently down 10 percent.
So you can imagine how the NFL is panicking.
With more fans getting rid of cable and choosing to view clips of games on websites instead of sitting through a three-hour broadcast, the last thing the NFL can afford to do is alienate the fans who actually make the lucrative TV contracts possible.
If ratings continue to decline and the NFL is forced to re-balance its books, they may want to start by cutting Kaepernick and putting an end to activists using the massively profitable company to make political statements.