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Why are NFL ratings down?


A topic that’s slowly gaining steam is the NFL ratings. Ratings are down for the NFL and there is not one reason but multiple reasons.

I believe the NFL ratings are the result of a perfect storm:

Tom Brady’s suspension

Peyton Manning retires

NFL Officiating

Colin Kaepernick protest

Multiple states pulling the plug on Daily Fantasy

Presidential Election

Various viewing platforms

Believe it or not, fans like the best players in the game playing. Brady’s suspension and Peyton Manning’s retirement may be similar to Michael Jordan’s retirement. Brady will return this week so that should help.

Over the last couple of years, NFL officiating has been horrific. Lots of high profile games have been determined by bad officiating and I have heard many people say they are tired of it.

San Francisco’s QB Colin Kaepernick is the big one. I believe Kaepernick’s protesting police injustice and the traction it received throughout the NFL and sports in general across the board forced people out. Fans use sports to escape real world, they do not care to deal with real world events while they are trying to enjoy a game.

Last year, states decided to pull Daily Fantasy. Fantasy football is huge and I am willing to bet that if we get a breakdown where the ratings are depressed, they will correlate with those states that canceled daily fantasy.

This year’s presidential election has been draining. They are countless articles on election fatigue and how the election is effecting the economy negatively.

I think the NFL will be fine but a friend on Twitter reminded me what Dallas Mavericks  owner Mark Cuban said a few years ago “I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion.”

4 Comments on Why are NFL ratings down?

  1. All of these are good points, but the officiating is the main reason for me. But it’s not just the calls. It’s also the TV announcers constantly justifying bad calls. Once I realized that the announcers were protecting the interest of the league by almost always agreeing the call on the field no matter how bad, I really started to lose interest. I watch my favorite team and a little red zone, but that’s it. In previous years I watched Thursday night and all day Sunday.


  2. Sommelierofsports // October 6, 2016 at 3:06 pm // Reply

    I agree that it’s a perfect storm for all the reasons you stated, and there are a few more to add to it.
    The concussion drama that has made some old school guys feel there is a pussification of the league.
    The back and forth over the Deflategate issue looked bad on the league.
    The commissioner has tried to “clean up” the game but at the cost of fans now calling it the NoFunLeague.
    The multiple assaults over a few years.


  3. Seattle started the downward spiral of offenses in the NFL by using defensive holding and arm bars so much that officials got tired of calling the foul. Even terrible defensive backs are playing bump, grab and run press defense and if they turn their head to the ‘ball’, the announcers automatically state “he was looking back at the ball, so it wasn’t a penalty”. WTF…Now teams can blitz even more while cornerbacks are holding onto to receivers at the line of scrimmage. The NFL has taken away head shots and launching from the defense and given them back all the holding they can do.


  4. ODonalsVanguard // December 22, 2016 at 7:17 pm // Reply

    Other than the bad officiating the two biggest things that have turned me away are the constant slew of bad games being the only ones available for me to watch and the fact that the NFL puts way too many commercials in the broadcast. What happened to short breaks being filled by commentary from the announcers? Now every time there’s a chance to put in a 30 second ad they take it. I am so sick of seeing touchdown, commercial, extra point, commercial, kickoff, commercial. I’ve seen games where a stop in play led to a commercial and then one play was ran before a 30 second timeout was filled with another commercial. C’mon already!


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