It is time to stop whining about the decline in National Football League television ratings and take a look at overall television ratings and understand this: All television ratings are best guesses and there is for whatever reason appears to be fewer people watching all television.
There is one story that television viewership in October fell by 11 percent across the board. Young people are turning to phones and tablets to watch programming. Tens of millions of people have cut the cord which explains in part the drop off of NFL ratings on ESPN. The average age of people watching sports on TV is creeping up. The average age of PGA watchers in 2016 according to Sports Business Daily data was 64, figure skating was also 64, the LPGA and Horse Racing at 63, Men’s Tennis, 61, NASCAR 56, Major League Baseball 57, women’s tennis 56, Olympics 53, college football and college basketball 52 the NFL 50, the NHL, boxing and the UFC 49, the NBA 42 and Major League Soccer 40. Advertisers try to target two groups of men in the sports category, 18-34 year olds and 25-54 year olds. The NFL is still within that band as are the college sports, the Olympics, the NHL, the NBA, Major League Soccer, the UFC and a surprise boxing.
There is a simplistic thought that the national anthem protests have hurt the business of the NFL and have driven down TV ratings. However, do some research and you find that the final NASCAR race of the season on November 19 saw a drop in overnight ratings from a 3.3 in 2016 to a 2.7. The ratings for this year’s World Series fell. There were no anthem protests in NASCAR and just one in Major League Baseball during the season. Markets are shifting. Too many people are still rooted in the old ratings system. The times are a changing.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.