NFL TV ratings drop almost 10 percent during tumultuous season

NFL TV ratings drop almost 10 percent during tumultuous season

NFL TV ratings drop almost 10 percent during tumultuous season

Also concerning for league and television executives is the lack of blockbuster games that score at least a 15.0 household rating.

The NFL will cancel the final edition of "NBC Sunday Night Football" for the 2017 season, the first such move since 2006. The numbers show that ESPN lost around a million viewers each year since 2010 and the loss revealed a 35 percent decline since then. During the 2015 season, an average of 17.9 million viewers tuned in.

Fans being upset with player protests during the national anthem may have an impact.

An NFL game was watched by an average of 14.9 million people this season, compared with 16.5 million a season ago. "That's a pretty meaningful drop", he said. But the acceleration of ratings declines in the most recent season signals that viewership didn't merely temporarily dip, and could mark the beginning of an ongoing trend. That is a drop of 1.6 million viewers, a 9.7 percent reduction.

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However, TV executives argue that the league's push to maximize reach - by increasing the number of Thursday Night Football games and Sunday morning games played in London, for example - has hurt appeal and devalued the sports programming. "Those highlights can be eight, nine or 10 minutes long, and I do worry they can be serving as a disincentive from watching the live game".

Year-end data shows that only about 12 percent of cable subscribers had tuned in to Monday Night Football on the sports network and the broadcast hit an all-time low this year.

Injuries were also a factor, as three of the league's most dynamic stars - Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Odell Beckham of the New York Giants - were sidelined for most of the season.

This year the NFL has been battling public criticism - most notably from President Trump - due to players kneeling in protest during the National Anthem.

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