(National Sentinel) NFHell: The National Football League and its television partners CBS, Fox Sports, NBC, and ESPN are no longer the unstoppable force in professional sports they were just two years ago.
This year, thanks to continuing protests that have led to declining TV ratings, viewership and game attendance, the league and its TV partners are on pace to lose roughly $500 million this year, according to sports blog Outkick the Coverage.
Worse, the league is currently engaged in an internal civil war between commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over the future leadership of the league.
“Already several hundred million in lost revenue has been booked in 2017 and it has the league’s top executives and television partners scrambling to figure out what went wrong. How did a league that was setting ratings records in 2015 suddenly see its audience fall by nearly 20% just two years later,” the blog reported.
The protests are not the only reason for declining viewership, however, according to the blog. The writer also blames the “decimation of the one eastern kickoff window” on Sunday, as the league has added games on Thursday night and games in London that start earlier on Sunda mornings, usually.
“The NFL’s Thursday night game, in conjunction with Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, is cannibalizing the audience for Sunday at one eastern and, worst of all in the mind of many, it’s also starting to change viewing habits,” the blog’s creator, Clay Travis, formerly of Fox Sports 1.
Another reason is bad football, he wrote. “Put plainly, the NFL is often putting a poor product on the field and NFL fans are choosing to spend their time doing something else.”
Finally, Travis said the addition of two teams to Los Angeles. Before the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers were moved to LA, the country’s second-largest TV market got to watch premier teams like the New England Patriots. But now they get local teams that aren’t as good.
“Can the NFL reclaim its ratings mojo?” Travis writes. “Maybe, but not without substantial changes” that include getting politics out of the game.
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