The opening “Thursday Night Football” game between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs saw horrible numbers. The games are ratings behemoths that provide networks with advertising dollars, along with viewership that benefits the networks’ promotions and non-NFL programming. We’ve focused below on the up-and-down NFL TV ratings thus far this season. But here are the raw numbers. If not, there’s a chance we’ll see more protests of this ilk during the 2021 NFL season. 24 UCLA, handing the program its first PAC-12 loss of the season. Following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by law enforcement earlier this year, athletes across the country started using their platform more than ever before. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a registered trademark of ABG-SI LLC. NFL Media reported on Tuesday that Saturday’s game between the Lions and Buccaneers drew 6.3 million viewers, which is up 13% from the same time slot last season. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram. According to Sportico, ratings for the games were down 25% on Saturday compared to last year and 20% on Sunday. According to prime time ratings and viewership totals, MLB continues to rank #1 on television in the local markets where teams play, but overall, league ratings in prime time were down -6% compared to last season. Heck, the matchups might not have been seen as too juice. No. The opening game saw a dramatic ratings decrease from a season ago. After missing out on Tony Romo, Peyton Manning and even Sean McVay, ESPN settled on its backup plan. which was a smash hit with social media users, which I reviewed in Thursday's Traina Thoughts. Early ratings returns show the NFL's Sunday Night Football game was down over last week, but Thursday Night Football remained steady. © 2021 ABG-SI LLC. Of course, NFL football has been very good for TV too. Aired on Fox and NFL Network, that viewership was up 19% from the NFL’s previous Christmas Day game between the Steelers and Texans in 2017. Texans players stayed in the locker room for the national anthem. This obviously did not sit well with POTUS and those who support him. On Saturday, 21.8 million people watched football. There are five confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variant on Michigan athletic teams and 15 more presumed positives throughout the athletic department. Not much of that had to to with networks and their relationships with sponsors as a decline becomes around around the football world. 19 Mizzou upset No. We have some more information about Week 16’s slate of action, and it’s pretty darn good for the league. Even the season’s NFL TV ratings have been interesting. The Cowboys, who went 8-8 last season and failed to qualify for the postseason, played in three of the five most-watched regular-season NFL games that aired on TV in 2019. In fact, the NFL admitted its mistakes in that regard. The game generated 28 million viewers on CBS. The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. 6. NFL TV ratings remain king. A 2020 NFL campaign that has been somewhat defined by a politically-based rift between outgoing President Donald Trump and … NFL ratings were down from last year week one, even in games featuring major market teams in primetime. According to the Nielsen Ratings, NFL television ratings fell 9.7 percent during the 2017-18 season. What a day for Tom Brady on Monday. The NFL TV ratings are in decline and experts believe there are two teams responsible for driving down viewership. Even with the NHL largely avoiding political messages and focusing primarily on the sport itself, none of it mattered. But given Joe Biden’s impending inauguration and the current news cycle, it’s hard to be sure the NFL can rebound right now. When a delayed Opening Day finally happened on July 24, the game shattered MLB ratings. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. There are discussions about the network, or its partner ABC, broadcasting a future Super Bowl. In one of MLB’s biggest moments this past season, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler and several players kneeled during the national anthem. It’s not known how this will be impacted moving forward. That’s a lot of time to be planted in front of the TV for people who use the weekends to get stuff done, à la Will Ferrell in Old School. It’s been a rather interesting year around the gridiron world. Unfortunately for the network, in a year that saw the company lay off 300-plus employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL ratings have taken a hit this season. 3. However, even as the league went silent about social justice as the year unfolded, its viewership got worse. As always, though, perspective is needed when evaluating the NFL’s ratings. Related: Raiders’ Vegas home opener draws huge TV ratings. Giants average 17.7 local rating this season translating to 1.3 million TV homes tuned in per game. Back in 2016, during the presidential election cycle, multiple “Thursday Night Football” games went up against debates. And that follows the 8 percent drop in ratings from the season prior. The Dolphins’ stunning win over the Raiders Saturday night represented the most-watched NFL Network exclusive of the season. The NBA, on the other hand, says the ratings of its ESPN games (there were 30 of them last season) are up by 18 percent and its TNT telecasts (16 games last season) have ratings that are up by 25 percent. 52. All Rights Reserved. Following the murder of George Floyd by a then-Minneapolis police officer on May 25, the league opted to change its tune. Either way, this is something to watch heading into the divisional round next weekend. The Jets' hiring of head coach Robert Saleh has quarterback Deshaun Watson intrigued. Sunday's Browns-Steelers game was the most-watched prime-time show since last February's Super Bowl. While things haven’t gone perfectly this year for ESPN, it hasn’t lessened the network’s desire to expand its NFL coverage. 4. Will be updated as the season progresses. NFL ratings took a major hit during the 2016 election, with a 14-percent drop. Thursday night’s game between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs was down 16% in viewership from the Thursday night game last year, although it was up from the same game two years … The Nickelodeon telecast of Bears-Saints on Sunday, which was a smash hit with social media users, generated 2.06 million viewers. First, he, and I'm going to use a gross phrase here, won the internet with this tremendous tweet. One of the primary stories heading into the 2020 NFL season was a rift between outgoing President Donald Trump and the league over national anthem protests. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers seriously considered sitting out the rest of the NBA Playoffs. The Giants and Jets had top 10 finishes in the social media category as well. Chicago has the most local viewers on average, Jacksonville the least. Arguments can be made that the product has created issues. The National Football League (NFL) has seen its TV ratings consistently decline over the past few seasons. CBS says that is the highest rating for Nickelodeon in four years. There can be little doubt those channels pulled many fringe NFL fans away from the playoffs. NFL TV ratings and viewership 2018, selected games NFL TV broadcasting rights annual value 1983-2021 Amount of time U.S. consumers spend watching NFL football on TV 2017 New Orleans has the highest local rating on average LA Chargers the lowest. The 2020 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays drew an alarmingly low audience. Previous NFL TV ratings: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014.Numbers obtained from various sources, including network PR, ShowBuzz Daily and Programming Insider. NFL TV ratings for Week 16 up significantly from last season . There’s a number of things that could be behind the ratings decrease. The most financially successful sports league in the world is in trouble. The contract with the NFL to broadcast MNF games ends in 2021 and contract talks are already underway. This was going to be among the primary indicators of the health of NFL TV ratings. Since then, things have trended both up and down. That might not seem like a lot. the Wall Street Journal reported this past weekend, supporting both the Black Lives Matter movement, between the Chiefs and Texans in Kansas City, Raiders’ Vegas home opener draws huge TV ratings, released a statement following Floyd’s killing. It’s also possible that 10 consecutive hours of football each day played a role here. The combination of games being played in an empty stadium and sports fans having their attention divided across multiple sports led to a steep hit in ratings. Related: What to make of decreased NFL ratings. Then, just as everything seemed to be going smoothly, it all stopped on Aug. 26. 7. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, Monday morning quarterbacking around the NFL’s nightmare 2020 TV ratings is about to kick into high gear. An NFL official told the teams not to worry over the league’s crashing TV ratings, and said that the election and COVID are the reasons for lower viewership. And that follows the 8 percent drop in ratings from the season prior. Oscar da Silva's overtime buzzer-beater lifted Stanford over No. Tweet. The 2020 NFL TV schedule on FOX, NBC, CBS, ESPN and NFL Network, including singleheaders, doubleheaders and Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night Football. That’s obviously not the case. Reblog. Yahoo Sports. The Boston Red Sox had Black Lives Matter signage along the bleachers at Fenway Park. Major League Baseball released a statement following Floyd’s killing. Things were even worse for the NHL. Whether it’s the ongoing pandemic or something else, said decline has forced networks to scramble and strengthen relationships with sponsors. NFL TV ratings and viewership 2016-17; NFL TV ratings and viewership 2017-18; NFL team ranking by all-time regular season wins 2019; NFL - venue renovation / construction costs 2009 More proof we live in two totally different countries. Why’s the league experiencing a diminishing viewership? According to the Nielsen Ratings, NFL television ratings fell 9.7 percent during the 2017-18 season. However, ESPN is thinking even bigger than Monday Night Football. NFL's TV ratings improve across nearly every network as the controversy over player protests begins to abate. I’d predict the NFL viewership numbers will bounce back this weekend because the games are filled with stars like Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. There are a handful of clubs who view themselves as a franchise quarterback away from the Super Bowl. Ultimately, when NBA teams agreed to make more accommodations to help address justice reform and arenas would be used as polling places, the playoffs resumed. Jumping from a 7% regular-season drop to a 25% and 20% playoff drop doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense, but I have a couple of theories about why this happened: First, the added game on each day of the weekend gave us games from 1 p.m. An unorthodox Sunday NFL schedule gave way to a week of steep ratings declines for the league’s network partners, which are currently 8% off the pace compared to last season’s deliveries.. When the season resumed, the NBA had Black Lives Matter on every court. Browns are America's team: NFL Network does fantastic ratings for Cleveland's win. It even led to a heated argument between Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Sen. Ted Cruz. Local TV ratings for each team. You have the people who take COVID-19 seriously on one side, and then you have this. The Wednesday Week 12 game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, delayed three times due to COVID-19, saw 10 million viewers tune in. Then we learned he was mic'd up for the Bucs' playoff win against the Washington Football Team on Saturday. Last week, I wrote about the 7% ratings dip the NFL took over the regular season and predicted super wild-card weekend would produce excellent ratings based on the matchups, markets and star players involved. As you can tell, it has been a mixed bag. That’s for sure. Both of those teams play at MetLife Stadium in New York. 2020 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus post-draft winners for every team That was not the case in 2020 with one debate between President Trump and president-elect Biden canceled and another midweek NFL game canceled. This could very well end up being a 10-year low for the NFL on NBC. https://www.si.com/.../2021/01/12/nfl-super-wild-card-ratings-down-big Players then locked hands in protests ahead of the game. Just a year after the MLB Playoffs drew a massive audience, things looked promising for baseball. The NFL is in the midst of negotiating a new broadcast contract with networks which is why Week 1's ratings decline is so troubling. Ratings fell by a staggering amount compared to the NBA Playoffs in 2019 and the NBA Finals suffered, too. Meanwhile, the NFL Network itself was television’s most-watched network on Dec. 26. Despite having two extra games during the wildcard round the playoffs this season, interest was not there from football fans around the United States. Sports Business Journal recently reported that NFL media operations man, Brian Rolapp, sent a memo to all the teams to allay their fears over the consistently bad ratings. ET to nearly midnight ET. But when we look at ad revenue, the economic downtick from COVID-19 and the NFL’s own revenue issues, it is no small thing. Ratings News NFL ratings were down significantly across the board for the week one slate of games. Meanwhile, 20.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Saints running back Alvin Kamara torch the Minnesota Vikings for six rushing touchdowns on Christmas Day. To answer these questions, we've […] The episode features interviews with New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand and reporter Armen Keteyian, who is an executive producer on HBO's upcoming Tiger Woods documentary, which I reviewed in Thursday's Traina Thoughts. New York is the largest market in the U.S.; New Orleans is No. A 2020 NFL campaign that has been somewhat defined by a politically-based rift between outgoing President Donald Trump and the league of national anthem protests has also led to a lot of talk about NFL ratings on the boob tube. The opening “Sunday Night Football” game between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys in Southern California drew less than 19 million viewers. When the six-game series ended, with the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrating over the Dallas Stars, it was the least-watched Stanley Cup in more than a decade. If that does happen, expect those in the “respect the flag” category to continue speaking out. 2. Saints average a league high 47.4 local rating translating to 304,000 TV homes tuned in per game. No other sports or TV shows come close to generating those numbers. Frank Schwab. After the election, the numbers were flat in comparison to the prior year. Overall ratings were down a whopping 16.1% from last season’s “Thursday Night Football” opener between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. 5. Competing against the NFL’s regular season and the NBA Playoffs, MLB’s broadcasts were routinely crushed in the ratings. That included Roger Goodell supporting both the Black Lives Matter movement and related protests. NFL TV ratings for the 2020 season. As Burke explains, “The NFL’s ratings have fallen substantially less than TV as a whole.” But for every good bit of NFL ratings data, it’s easy to find numbers that tell a different story. Just like the NFL, MLB and NHL, the NBA’s ratings also took a hit. There's also the issue of the Warriors going from the most exciting team in the league to one of the most unwatchable teams in the league. While there’s no concreate evidence that a widespread boycott took place, some early-season primetime games saw NFL TV ratings decreases from a season ago. We have seen a mixed bag as it relates to NBC’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” thus far this season. All ratings are accurate as of September 5, 2018 with the most recent downloadable roster (which is required for playing any online games). Between coverage of identification of the rioters, news about impeachment talks and the decisions of Twitter and Facebook to ban the president’s accounts, cable news had no shortage of current events to cover. That’s a major downtick in ratings for the NFL. The NBA is coming off record lows for the Finals, while the NFL's numbers are down a little bit across the board. This was repeated over and over again until things seemed to even out. 1. Though they haven’t made it past the divisional round of the NFL playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in 1996, the Dallas Cowboys are still America’s team. NFL ratings, a look forward: The 2020 NFL season is closing up shop on the regular schedule. Most teams took part in some form of protest, with players kneeling or opting to stay in the locker room during the national anthem. When the GOAT is mic'd up, you watch the video no matter what. Throughout the first 13 weeks of the 2020 season, NFL TV ratings are down 7% from a season ago. That was a dramatic drop off from the 2019 season. Get the latest news and information from across the NFL. Based on the average total impressions of Tweets surrounding each game telecast, the New England Patriots were the most dominant team in the NFL from a social standpoint. Below, we look at NFL TV ratings and the 2020 season with updates as the final quarter of the campaign plays out on our television sets amid the pandemic. The NFL is expected to sign multiple record-setting contracts with television networks to renew and even expand broadcasting rights for future games. Even with viewership dipping this season, nothing draws a bigger audience than NFL games. That added game may have been great for the die-hard NFL fan, but the fringe fan can’t, and won’t, spend 11 straight hours watching football. Which Sporting Event Should Nickelodeon Aim to Broadcast Next? Catch up with the latest hot stove news around MLB. Players were angry about the latest incidents of police brutality, with some willing to give up a lot in the name of change. With millions of Americans protesting across the United States, professional athletes were no longer staying silent. Conor McGregor’s chase for the Lightweight Championship continues as he faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 from Fight Island. There was a lot of talk about said NFL ratings once the season started amid national anthem protests following the murder of George Floyd, among others, at the hands of authorities around the United States. Following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bucks held a wildcat strike for Game 5 of their playoff series. The opening “Thursday Night Football” matchup back in Week 1 offered the NFL with a major wake-up call in terms of TV ratings. Unsurprisingly, ESPN, NBC, FOX and CBS all want a part of that. Protests could potentially die down some should actual police reform take hold around the United States under President-Elect Joe Biden. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play. As you can see, NFL TV ratings might have declined thus far during the 2020 season. Faced With Covid Cases, Injured Players And Falling TV Ratings, The 2020 NFL Season Is Just About Survival Alex Reimer Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The NBA and its players were the most active in calling for systemic change sin the United States and supporting the Black Lives Matter message. Like any good relationship, this one remains a two-way street, benefiting both the broadcasters and the game. However, others will point to the politics of it all (more on that below). It was a midweek game that started during work hours, both on the west coast and back east. The NFL and NBA garnered the most attention for the efforts of players, teams and the league itself. On Sunday, 26 million people watched football. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final got off to a miserable start. He called for a boycott of the league. Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. On a day that saw league-wide player and team protests in Week 1, the NFL’s marquee broadcast suffered a massive ratings hit with two of the league’s most popular teams … According to Sports Illustrated, the NFL’s rating issue lies primarily on the Jets and the Giants. Topics I discussed with Marchand include Boomer Esiason's filling in for Tony Romo, an update on Jim Nantz's contract situation with CBS, a problem for Fox's college football pregame show, Tom Rinaldi's leaving ESPN for Fox, ESPN's getting fooled by a fake Adam Schefter story and much more. That was obvious during the opening “Thursday Night Football” game between the Chiefs and Texans in Kansas City. ESPN is also reportedly in a bidding war with NBC for the rights to Sunday Night Football. And which factors are more critical than others in influencing the league’s popularity? Any adjustments, The NFL set, or came very close to, records in points scored, touchdowns and games decided by three points or fewer. Perhaps, the general public was not too interested in watching sports considering what’s going on in the United States today following the attack on Capitol Hill last week. held a wildcat strike for Game 5 of their playoff series. However, they remain the gold standard for other sports leagues in North America. Before the NBA returned in the Orlando bubble, there was legitimate discussion about suspending the rest of the schedule. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Here was the opening to Monday night's Jeopardy!, the first without Alex Trebek, in which Ken Jennings spoke eloquently about the legendary host. Related: President Trump takes aim at NFL. With the country in the midst of an election year, this was magnified even further. Second, I haven’t seen the ratings for cable news on Saturday and Sunday, but I would imagine they were up significantly after the insurrection at the Capitol last Wednesday. Monday Night Football was already the lesser football package for NFL games and the decline in viewership hasn’t helped. Find your favorite team's schedule, roster, and stats on CBS Sports. Share. The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. For comparison’s sake, the late-afternoon Sunday game between the Chiefs and Buccaneers drew 23 million viewers. Those close to this situation called it “unheard of.” Some of the broadcast networks, such as CBS and Fox, has even considered advertisers pay less than what they had originally pledges to air ads during NFL games. On Tuesday morning, Sportico’s Anthony Crupi reported ratings for last weekend’s games were down big on Saturday (-25%) and Sunday (-20%). 6 Tennessee Saturday night, securing its first road win over a ranked opponent since 2012. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 61st birthday to the Human Highlight Reel, Dominique Wilkins. Additionally, Minnesota Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli spoke out about police brutality and the need for systemic changes within the country. Curry hit his 2,561st career three-pointer on Saturday night against the Jazz, passing Reggie Miller for second on the all-time list. Before the NFL season began, ESPN worked desperately to lure in a broadcasting crew that would entertain fans and increase viewership. Share. A lot of the NFL TV ratings numbers are dependent on specific matchups and competition on the air waves. This was a split from how the league handled the initial protests, headed by Colin Kaepernick back in 2016. “TV networks are feeling the strains of disappointing NFL ratings, as they are forced to restructure deals with advertisers to make up for the smaller audience, and their opportunity to make money off remaining games during the lucrative holiday season narrows,” the Wall Street Journal reported this past weekend. The NFL says it increased its average TV viewership to 16.5 million per game, a rise from the 15.8 million viewers it averaged last year. September 21, 2018. Last week's SI Media Podcast was recorded Wednesday afternoon, before the disturbing events at the U.S. Capitol. 1.A lot has been written about ratings for the NFL and NBA. However, MLB also strayed from precedented and spoke during a time of civil unrest. 9.7 percent during the 2017-18 season Night Football” opener between the Chiefs and Buccaneers 23. 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