I have to say that I am not as interested in the games as I used to be, even last year, and I’m not sure why. I don’t think it’s just because the Packers aren’t doing all that well. I saw them through rougher times. And it’s not because the games are too long. I like long games. And it’s not because Colin Kaepernick is disrespecting the flag. He’s getting sacked so much that a patriotic fan might take some satisfaction in watching that. I’m just kind of tired of it. I still get excited about College Football (go Sooners!) and I’ve started following the NBA (go Thunder!). But the NFL is giving me a “meh” feeling.
So let me consult you. Are you still following NFL games as avidly as you used to? If not, why not?
From Nick Groke, Why the NFL’s TV ratings crashed in 2016. And how they might rebound, Denver Post:
For the first time since the 1990s the NFL’s supreme dominance of televised sports has faded. Ratings through the first nine weeks plunged by double digits. “Monday Night Football” ratings are down by more than 20 percent.
It is difficult to see that from the Broncos’ bubble that covers Denver, but pro football games in America are not commanding the same TV audience they once did. The reasons for the decline, though, appears muddled, depending on one’s view of the sport. But with every dipping overnight rating and every week “The Walking Dead” on AMC outdraws an NFL game on ESPN in primetime, the NFL’s shield gets nicked.
“We are watching a hot-garbage product right now,” said Mark Schlereth, a longtime NFL player, an ESPN analyst, and co-host of Channel 4’s Broncos show, on his podcast. “That’s what it boils down to. It is absolutely ridiculous, and the product is suffering. (Commissioner) Roger Goodell can come out and say, ‘Hey, the ratings are down in prime time and there’s some reason for it, but don’t push the panic button.’
“But it is time to push the panic button,” Schlereth said. “This is not a try-hard league, this is a do-good league. And if you don’t produce in this league, they find somebody else to take your job.”
The NFL is worried. Goodell said last month the league is looking at shortening broadcasts by trimming commercials and speeding up the action.
“We don’t make excuses,” Goodell said. “We look at it and we try to figure out what’s changing.”
Photo by Phillip Robertson, Creative Commons, license 2.0