Thursday, November 10, 2016

NFL ratings decline

The NFL has a bit of a problem on its hands with the drop in ratings this season. But two things about that. One. There had to be a ceiling on ratings (they can't go up forever) and I guess we reached it. And two. The NFL created a monster they couldn't control.

Let me explain. With rising ratings come rising costs, particularly in terms of the cost to broadcast. And the way to recover that is through more advertising. And that slows the game rather a lot.

Plus you have the NFLs own weirdness in terms of penalties, how they deal with concussions, suspensions, and the now fairly constant migration of players that makes teams less cohesive. And of course calling it the no fun league is apt. Players are encouraged to just be robots and not show emotion.

There's also declining attendance at games, which the NFL was okay with as long as there was increasing tv revenue. I think they see that it's not a 1-1 tradeoff and you can't have both happen.

Fantasy football is also a concern. Fans become less interested in games and more interested in individual performances. While it's good for fans, it seems to indicate fans aren't watching whole games.

The advent of redzone hasn't helped either. That's like crack. Only plays in the redzone. No commercials. Once you watch it a few times it makes games seem boring.

And then there's the quality of the games. There have been some dreadful matchups and really bad games.

Count me among those people who have not watched a single NFL game this season from beginning to end. I've tried. But when it turns bad or there's a long break, I switch away and may never come back. If I happen to catch that it's close, maybe I come back. Maybe. And I love football.

Heres something else: I watched many of the MLB playoff games in their entirety. And they were loooong. Some of them stretched to 4 hours. So it's not about length so much as it is about quality.

Until the NFL makes it compelling and interesting and shortens games, and keeps them moving, ratings will keep dipping.
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13 comments

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I might also say that social media has an impact too. Fans watch games differently and interact with other fans that aren't in the same room (or same state!) as the game is progressing. And they do it in real time; probably more quickly than the pace of the game. It's easy to lose interest in that case.

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Ugh, you completely left out BLM, the unpatriotic kneeling by so called activists speaking out for so called victims of racial injustice, and the constant barrage of politically correct coverage of NFL news that has everything to do with social issues and nothing to do with football and the result is a fanbase that says F U NFL i'll do something else with my time and my hard earned dollars.

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I have Sunday ticket, and will be canceling next year. The officiating is garbage, the commish is garbage, half the players are garbage. #we need rozelle. Oh, hey Omar , trump won....suck it.

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Oh PLEASE, let's keep politics out of this blog.

Football has hit a downward spiral. From the Pop Warner through High School, participation levels have dramatically decreased. Some towns in NJ, where I officiate football, no longer have certain age group teams. Kids and/or their parents don't want to them to play.

And I am including powerhouse programs that have dropped freshman or sophomore teams. Many schools have cancelled sub varsity games due to injuries and not enough depth to field a team for a week or two.

One high school, forfeited two varsity games in a row because due to injury they weren't going to be able to compete against a much better team. They just didn't have the numbers.

And polling amongst 8th graders to gage their interest is not looking promising.

I fear for the sport as more and more basketball, baseball and lacrosse leagues develop during football season.

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Carl you hits the nail on the head when you said keep politics out of it only I don't know if you meant what I mean. I think there are several factors in lower viewership and they all add up to the decline.

1. Fans like me don't want to see political statements. Football is entertainment and escape from reality. The whole Kaepernick protest thoroughly pissed off many watchers because it was being repeatedly thrown in the faces of all viewers even those who have differing views. It was seen as disrespectful and offensive to many blue collar fans who respect the police and see the problem as a training problem not a race problem since they also shoot unarmed white people. I seriously doubt that the NFL would allow someone to kneel to protest against abortion because it's not part of the left's agenda I personally know at least a dozen people who are not watching any football this year because of it. - Costs NFL credibility.

2. Flags for fun that weren't taunting and didn't effect the game. Too many flags from sloppy play. This is the stupidest thing the NFL does. I saw Landry get a flag for hugging the goal post. HUGGING THE GOAL POST! How stupid is this? - Again Costs NFL credibility.

3. Greed....There is such a thing as too much football. Thursday, Sunday, Monday and that's just Pro Football. College on Saturday soon to be Friday and Saturday. It's no longer special when it's on all the time and you get overloaded with it. Not to mention the sloppiness of Thursday night play. Maybe they should consider making the season longer with another bye week preceding Thursday games if they actually care about the players.

4. Hypocrisy...Studies show and players confirm that Thursday games are physically harder on the players yet the NFL says they are concerned with player safety. They allow cut blocking even with the dangers it poses. Not to mention hypocrisy of unequal punishments for player violations including making marijuana a big deal. - Again Costs NFL credibility.

5. sloppy play. Period. Too many teams with new coaches don't have time to catch up to teams with established coaches and systems. Practices in preseasons aren't cutting it. Maybe allowing teams to have deeper rosters with more developmental players allowing the inexperienced players to stay in one system to develop instead of jumping from team to team practice squads. There has to be a better way to groom these players for the NFL. Also, debatable would be older players getting cut in favor of younger players leads to sloppiness where as more roster spots would allow the teams to keep older players while developing the younger ones.

No wonder they a losing ratings.

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You haven't watched a Dolphins game from start to finish? How am I supposed to take that when your writing on a Dolphins blog. Are you a fan of this team?

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I meant Kelly's comment about Trump.

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He is the creator of the original Dolphins blog. He is a fan but cannot stomach the bad play of recent years

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Dave Keller... I agree completely with your commentary. Well said

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I tried to go see the preseason game in Orlando but relatively cheap end zone seats came with so many upgrades from ticket Master that it nearly doubled the price. They were asking $40 to park at the Citrus Bowl the same place I paid $10 to park at for monster jam. So that's why I can't afford to do to games. As far as watching it on TV, I only care about the Dolphins but up here in Orlando the Jaguars are our"home" team so I don't watch when I can't see the Dolphins.

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Another idiot writing this blog is missing the point, again. Lifelong dolphins fan here, former season ticket holder for many years. I have not watched 1 game this year, why, drum roll.... Since they kneeled on 9/11 of all days and ever since, the owner and the nfl commisdioner are ok with it while fining players for a hand shake. THAT IS WHY THERE IS A 15% DECREASE THIS SEASON!!!!!