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NFL Televison Ratings Back Up Since Election

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Apparently, the sky was not falling in the world of the National Football League’s viewership during the first two months of the 2016 season.

Some suggested that the popularity of football was dwindling for many reasons- concussions, over-managing by the commissioner and off the field issues by stars- but it seems as if potential viewers were likely more interested in the election.

“It’s an encouraging rebound,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN on Friday. “I think it proves that the election was certainly a factor.”

For the first nine weeks, NFL games averaged 15.5 million viewers, which was down 14 percent compared to 2015. But following the Nov. 8 presidential election, which took place two days before the start of Week 10, viewership has increased. During Weeks 10-14, NFL games averaged 18.1 million viewers, off just 2 percent compared to those weeks in 2015.

Thursday Night Football has come under attack because of the unfavorable matchups and player comments about it.  Still, a good matchup a couple weeks ago brought record ratings.

“I don’t think we’ve seen anyone who wants less football,” said Goodell, referencing the recent Dallas Cowboys-Minnesota Vikings game as the most-watched Thursday Night Game ever.

The game is likely losing some popularity, but from where it was it was virtually impossible for it to keep the pace, much less grow.  Still, the sky is not falling and the league won’t be going out of business anytime soon.

Source: ESPN


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.