Allowing football players to publicly protest the national anthem has not won new fans for the NFL. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
One result of taking the side of players in opposition to middle America’s outrage that well-paid sports figures are protesting the country’s anthem and flag is the fact that ratings for Monday Night Football on ESPN continue to free-fall.
An exciting game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football couldn’t make up for the fact that disgruntled fans are tuning out.
MNF was down double digits from last week’s Kansas Chiefs’ 29-20 victory over the Washington Redskins. “Down 17% in the ratings, that’s actually a regular game season low for the ESPN broadcast game and matches the MM result of the second game of the doubleheader MNF opener on September 11,” according to a report in Deadline Hollywood.
That comes a day after Sunday Night Football also hit a season low with its ratings.
“There’s no real nice way of saying this, but people just don’t seem to care about watching the NFL anymore. On a day that saw a Vice President leave his seat in protest, the ratings for Sunday Night Football once again fell below the number for the previous week,” according to a report in Breitbart.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football earned 10.6/18 in metered-market results. That fall constitutes a 3% drop from last week’s numbers. “That’s especially bad considering that last week featured a good-but-not-great Seahawks team, and an Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts team, that seemed to be missing 38 starters,” according to Deadline.
By comparison, last Sunday night’s match-up between an undefeated Chiefs team and an exciting Texans team, playing in a large market, should have done significantly better than the Seahawks-Colts. Such evidence could represent a trend that’s becoming worse every week.
The NFL likely saw ratings dip last week after ESPN reversed its earlier decision to not show the anthem after the shooting in Las Vegas prior to Sunday night’s game. It might have been a nice gesture on the part of ESPN, but fans witnessed yet another anthem protest during the game, at a time when people were mourning and looking for comfort, not division.
“All in all, this is a tremendous mess for the NFL, and ESPN,” noted Breitbart, adding, “If the NFL can’t make Monday Night Football go, it might not be too long before college football replaces the NFL as the most popular sport in the land.”
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