When people think of the Autumn season, that’s accompanied by everything falling. The leaves are changing and dropping to the ground and the seasons switch from bright and sunny Summer to sweatshirt-needing Fall.
Coincidentally, that’s not the only thing that is falling. The National Football League’s ratings have dropped like an anvil, mostly thanks to their anti-American National Anthem protests. According to the Sporting News, week 6 of the season dropped nearly nine percent rating-wise from the 2016 season.
That mark becomes worse when compared with the 2015 season, where viewership has declined by a whopping 19 percent. As people would expect, the local markets are taking a hit as well.
According to Sports Illustrated writer Albert Breer, “Twenty-five of 31 teams (excluding the Chargers, because of the move) are drawing lower local numbers than they did in 2016. Nineteen have dropped 5 percent or more, including brand name teams like the Cowboys (7 percent drop), Patriots (8 percent) and Steelers (6 percent), and both New York clubs (the Giants are down 7 percent, the Jets are down 37 percent). Conversely, only three teams (Chiefs, Bucs, Lions) have improved by more than 5 percent.”
When the giant club names, like the New England Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers are reporting losses like that, it’s huge. Making matters worse for the league is that of the 36 team markets where games are shown on television, viewership dropped in 20 of them.
New York Giants owner John Mara believes “there’s no question” that the protests are the cause of this drop. However, he thinks that these are more important than the fans, and apparently is willing to let the business’ interests suffer for it.
One NFL player believes he has the solution for stopping the protests, and that would be to make sure that Colin Kaepernick, who started the anthem protests last year, is back on a team. There are too many holes in that though, as the player can’t force the league to hire a mediocre quarterback, and there’s no guarantees the protests would stop.
The league has other issues though, as the drop in ratings is going to hurt the networks pocketbooks as well. Credit Suisse, a financial agency, claims that the massive drop in game ratings is going to directly affect the earnings by CBS, up to five percent.
That was in addition to another report that had major outlets like CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC taking a $200 million hit to their estimating earnings from advertisements. In other words, if they want to salvage their losses, they better hope these protests stop. Although, it might be too late.