Is the NFL Ratings Drop a Big Deal?

NFL ratings dropped 9 percent in 2017, the same as primetime broadcast TV.

For the second straight year, NFL viewership numbers are down. In a new Sports Illustrated article, experts diagnose how severe the NFL’s audience problem is. Despite decreased ratings for Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football, several factors suggest panic may not be necessary. This year’s TV schedule was plagued by weak late-season games on both Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, as competitive games between playoff teams were hard to come by and many of the most-watched teams lost all postseason hope. The overall 9 percent drop the NFL suffered lines up exactly with the 9 percent hit that primetime broadcast TV took this year. With those numbers in mind, it’s hard to imagine the NFL’s advertisers taking their dollars elsewhere next season.


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