The anti-American protests have done considerable damage to the NFL.
Stadium attendance is down, and Vince McMahon has talked about reviving the XFL to challenge the foundering league.
With these issues and more circling the NFL, the latest numbers surely sent a shiver down the league’s spine.
Despite a matchup with playoff implications, the ratings for Monday Night Football were abysmal, down almost 20 percent from last year.
The NFL is still getting tackled in the ratings and this week is no exception, as Monday Night Football seems to have once again taken a knee with numbers approaching a season low.
The Atlanta Falcons, defending NFC Champions, pulled out a 24-21 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on Monday. And just as fans avoided attending the game at the stadium, leaving tons of empty seats, TV ratings were similarly anemic; bringing in a low 6.5 percent with 11.7 million viewers in metered markets, according to Deadline.
Monday’s game took a 24 percent hit in the ratings over last week’s Monday night game, Deadline said. Matched against last year’s Week 15, Monday’s game saw a 19 percent loss of viewers.
Deadline also notes that the game earned only slightly better numbers than last year’s game in the important 18-49 age demographic bringing in a 3.8 rating this year compared to 3.6 last year.
The networks have stopped showing the playing of the national anthem, and fewer players are still protesting. However, despite the smaller number of protests, the NFL’s TV ratings are still falling to all-time lows. Ratings for Week 15’s broadcast of Thursday Night Football, for instance, crashed to a season low. And last week’s edition of Monday Night Football was down double-digits from the 2016 season.
Things have gotten so bad for the NFL that a chicken wing company has blamed its falling profits on fewer fans munching down during games, and one Saints season ticket holder even sued his favorite team over the year-long anti-American protests.
The NFL has had many opportunities to curb the fan disinterest in light of the anti-American anthem protests, but the league has failed to act.
Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t made much of an effort to get the players to stand and respect the flag and the fans who respect the flag.
Instead, Goodell appeased the protesters by earmarking $90 million for social justice activist causes without agreement from the players to stop protesting.
The 2016 election was used as an excuse for the lack of interest in the NFL last year, but that clearly isn’t the case this season.
It also doesn’t help that inane rules (like the requirements for a catch), concussions, and players trying to climb into the stands and fight fans are black eyes to the reputation of the league.
The NFL has a PR problem with no solutions in sight.