The ratings are in. Sunday’s NFL preliminary television ratings have finished lower as compared to the same week last year, reports ESPN. Most, including President Trump, see this as a reaction to many NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.
CBS has said that the national games, which include the Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs Vs. the Los Angeles Chargers all were down one percent in the overnight ratings compared to its week three national games for the 2016 season.
For Fox’s games, it was even worse, with the New York Giants Vs. Philadelphia Eagles game down 16 percent from last year.
“‘Sunday Night Football’s decline was more drastic, as Sunday’s game between the Redskins and the Oakland Raiders was the lowest-rated Week 3 game, from metered markets, since 2006. Ratings for the game were down 9 percent versus last week (Packers-Falcons) and 11 percent versus last year’s Week 3 game,’ reports ESPN.”
The ratings for football games has come to the attention of more and more people after Trump exerted pressure on the league and its players to stand during the playing of the national anthem.
“NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. “Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.”
Approximately 180 players did not stand for the national anthem during Sunday’s games, which does not include the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks who stayed in the locker room for the anthem.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, spoke on CNBC on Monday to say that he still expects television ratings, across all sports, to decline due to cord-cutting and streaming, but is still confident that sports in general will be in a better position compared to other programming.
“If you look at the NFL as well, they may be down versus last year,” he said, “but when you compare them to hit shows, you’ll see those other shows are probably down more.”
The NFL league saw that last seasons game ratings were down eight percent which the league attributed to presidential election coverage, among other factors.
But if the ratings continue to decline, you will see advertisers leaving quickly. And that’s where a huge part of their revenue comes from. In fact, it’s already happening. Phil Long Ford pulled their sponsorship, releasing this statement:
“We are evaluating the events of the weekend. It is important to state that we haven’t fired Von. We are in the middle of contract renewal and this weekend’s events remind us that sometimes we feel that we best represent ourselves. We support Von and his first amendment rights, we know Von, and he’s a good person. He donated a police car to his hometown police dept. All that notwithstanding when we bring in celebrities to represent us we run the risk of being misrepresented.
“We, like millions of Americans, are concerned and will respond consistently with our values as a proud American company founded by a war hero (Phil Long). While we can’t control the actions of others, we can be responsible for how we support our nation and community. That is why, years ago, our principal owner, Jay Cimino, founded the Mount Carmel Veteran’s Service center, and is supported by all Phil Long Dealerships. We support this cause not just with our words, but financially as well, and it is serving hundreds of veterans in need right here in Colorado. This would be a great time for our community to show support for our military community by supporting this cause or others that continue to serve them after they serve us. https://veteranscenter.org/”