The dismal season of declining TV ratings continues for the National Football League. For all the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, little has been resolved with the growing anger of American football spectators.
The NFL has gotten yet another reminder of their inability to restrain the combatants which appear to be a few belligerent players and millions of television viewers choosing to do something other than watch NFL games. The situation is becoming dire to the revenue of the league.
The pattern is becoming a constant as the season winds down. In pure marketing terms, the league is supplying a bad product, the consumer has been insulted and the result is bad TV ratings. Thanksgiving’s primetime clash between the Redskins and the Giants registered a 9.7 in metered markets, down 10 percent from last year.
The advertisers are watching this trend carefully. The results of the Thanksgiving games are not good news for NFL owners. Meanwhile, Commissioner Roger Goodell remains mildly passive. One of the three games last Thursday was in prime time. Such poor ratings are unforgiving.
According to Deadline Hollywood, “Coming off the L.A. Chargers 28-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the late afternoon, CBS put an almost full slate up last night with Young Sheldon(2.6/11), Mom (1.8/7), Life In Pieces (1.3/5) and S.W.A.T.”
In better days, that would have been dwarfed by NBC’s coverage of the evening game. But that was in earlier times before the league found itself unable to come to a consensus about how to handle millionaire players who feel “victimized” by the country they live in.
Lost revenue alone will spark a solution to this growing problem. Whether it is the smaller tab such advertising giants such as Budweiser and Toyota pony up or not allowing the players on the field during the national anthem, it will happen. The question is whether the present commissioner will be there to witness it.