As the NFL looks desperately to justify giving league head Roger Goodell $200 million for doing a terrible job (and common sense owners like the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones reach for a bucket while feeling understandably nauseous), things have gotten even worse. It seems that “rock bottom” has a basement, according to the ratings.
Breitbart News is reporting that even the New England Patriots seeing their eight-game winning streak come to a crashing end could only help the league a bit from past weeks. That tiny uptick at Tom Brady’s expense is useless since “‘Monday Night Football’ was still a loss compared to last year’s Week 14 game.”
When it comes to ratings expertise, few names are more respected than Deadline. They have confirmed that N.E.’s 27-20 loss to the Dolphins “drew an 8.5 overnight rating on ESPN and that was up 9 percent over last week’s Monday game.” If that is worth $200 million, how much is it worth if the numbers fall even lower? It seems that Goodell is aiming for golfing scores with these numbers.
Patriots/Dolphins drew an 8.5 overnight rating on ESPN, down ~7% vs the 9.1 for Ravens-Patriots MNF in week 14 last year.
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) December 12, 2017
The Patriots are one of the most popular dynasty’s in NFL history and only 14 million people tuned in. That is hardly up from the “10.844 million viewers for last week’s Monday evening game,” according to the numbers.
Some may try and spin that as a win, but as Sports TV Ratings conveys, this Monday night game was “down ~7% vs the 9.1 for Ravens-Patriots MNF in week 14 last year.” Sorry kneelers, but those are the cold, hard facts.
This reality looks even worse when it is remembered that “2015’s Week 14 game which saw a 9.7 rating and 16.03 million viewers.”
The National Football League has attempted to say that this is due to the concussion scandal, but that is pure nonsense. For better for worse, the American people are a people who will slow traffic for ten miles rubber-necking at every accident, hoping to see a drop of blood. Concern about concussions are not going to cause anyone to tune out, though it maybe should.
The league had to admit that “Week 14 in 2015 saw around 106 million viewers for the week while this year the week 14 earned fewer than 90 million viewers.” This fact could be a Frisbee and there would still be no way to put enough spin on it to make it fly away. The NFL is sinking and it is because they allowed politics to be confused with sportsmanship.
It remains to be seen if the damage is so bad at this point that the numbers, and more vitally, the respect of the fans can ever be re-achieved. Perhaps, in time.
Meanwhile, we have not seen numbers this low since the last year’s Hillary Clinton rally.