Sports | October 20, 2017 11:39 am

Nosediving NFL Ratings Could Hurt TV Networks

Through last week, viewership was down 7.5 percent compared to last year.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t make the National Football League right again.

As of Week 6, NFL television ratings are down 7.5 percent year over year, and some—including the president—are blaming it on the sideline protests during the playing of the national anthem, which have been going on for over a year now.

And those failings could soon be felt by the networks who have paid billions to air games, reports CBS News. “Probably it’s a little early to use the word ‘worry,’ but at this point I think it’s something that deserves close attention,” Tuna Amobi, an analyst with CFRA who follows the media sector, told CBS News. “To have now two consecutive years of declines in NFL ratings—that is something that begs a lot of questions … and could have significant financial implications for the ratings.”

Declining ratings mean fewer television viewers, which means a less appetizing situation for advertisers, a source of billions of dollars in revenue for the networks. Where they run into a problem is when TV audiences don’t balance out with the billions networks pay to air NFL games.