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Old 11-03-2017, 05:07 AM  
Eleazar Eleazar is offline
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NFL Excuses Run Out After Ratings Declines Continue

NFL's Litany of Excuses Runs Out After Ratings Fall for Second Year

By Lucas Shaw
Bloomberg.com
November 2, 2017, 11:30 AM CDT



TV networks are running out of excuses for the dwindling popularity of the National Football League.

They blamed the election for ratings declines last year, and hurricanes for a soft week one in September. Protests during the national anthem, and President Donald Trump’s criticism of the league, have faded from the headlines.

Advertisers are starting to believe a different explanation: the viewers aren’t coming back. Audiences are down an average 7 percent from a year ago through the first eight weeks of the season, excluding last Monday. That’s on top of a decrease of about 8 percent last season that spurred numerous changes in the broadcasts, from shorter commercials to better matchups earlier in the year.

“There’s just not as many people watching TV the way they used to watch TV,” said Jeremy Carey, managing director of Optimum Sports, a sports marketing agency. “It’s going to be an issue for advertisers when they can’t reach a large-scale audience the way they have.”

With CBS Corp., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co. set to report earnings in the next few days, analysts are bound to raise questions. These companies have used the popularity of the games to extract additional fees from cable operators, promote other shows on their networks and sell lots of commercials. Pro football games drew about $3.5 billion in ad spending last year, including the postseason, according to SMI Media Inc.

Media companies have spent billions of dollars on the right to air football games, which had been immune to the erosion of viewership for other TV programming. Audiences for TV networks have diminished for years as the growing popularity of online alternatives Netflix and YouTube and the availability of most shows on-demand have reduced the appeal of dramas and comedies. Live TV, like sports, was supposed to be immune, but that theory looks highly questionable now.

Ratings for the NFL suggest the same societal trends are now affecting the league, even if the declines aren’t as dramatic. The drop in game viewership ranges from 5 percent for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” to 11 percent for the CBS Sunday package. “Monday Night Football,” on Disney’s ESPN, has attracted more fans this year than a year ago, but the numbers are still down from 2015.

Viewership of the four main broadcast networks fell 8.7 percent last year, and 12 percent among adults 18 to 49, an important demographic for advertisers.

CBS’s 11 percent slump for NFL games is the steepest of the networks. Its parent company, which reports earnings after the close Thursday, is more vulnerable than rivals to the trend because the vast majority of its earnings come from the broadcast network. The declines at CBS reinforce a complaint that has gotten louder and louder in recent weeks: The league got greedy in adding the Thursday night game on broadcast.

Reserving top games for Thursday night robbed other time periods of good match-ups. After a nosedive in ratings at “Monday Night Football” last season, the league has scheduled better games for that time period, further damaging Sunday afternoon.

“Ratings declines on both general entertainment and NFL programming could be the single biggest point of focus for investors this quarter, and we’re not sure what media companies can say about the health and tone of the ad market to assuage fears,” Steven Cahall, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note last month.

Viewership is dropping fast among people under 54 -- a key demographic for advertisers -- and even faster among those 18 to 34. Audiences for games on CBS, NBC and Fox have slid at least 10 percent among that younger cohort.

Advertisers aren’t abandoning the NFL, one of the only places they can still reach more than 10 million people at once. But they are growing concerned. John Schnatter, who appears in TV spots on behalf of his Papa John’s Pizza International Inc., laid into the league on a conference call this week, blaming the ratings for his company’s slow revenue growth and calling for the league to put an end to player protests.

Networks and other advertisers identify a wide range of reasons for the NFL’s struggles. The league has overexposed itself by making highlights available on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. Identifiable stars like Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers have either retired or gotten hurt. The quality of play has deteriorated. Player protests and concussions have driven away some fans.

Some executives argue viewership of the league has still improved over the long term while dropping for every other show. Yet the amount of time people have spent watching football this season is at the lowest point since 2011, back when there were fewer televised games, according to Mike Mulvihill, Fox Sports’ head of research.

“The cumulative effect of everything happening in the world at large is having an impact on NFL viewership,” Mulvihill said. “ The league was defying the laws of gravity.”
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:19 AM   #256
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Quit rigging the games via the refs would be a great start towards me caring again.

And get rid of Thursday Nights. It's OK for the season opener, and that's it.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:20 AM   #257
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:21 AM   #258
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It'll be interesting to see the playoff attendance. Wasn't it just last season where several playoff games didn't sell out because the pricing was stupid high?
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:24 AM   #259
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The only one's really denying this are conservatives that want to believe it's due to players kneeling...and Trump.

Anyone with half a ****ing brain can see what's occurring here.
Post doesn't make sense.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:00 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
I personally don't care about the protests, but I'm finding it shocking how many people out there do. I've seen a lot of people in my circle posting that they didn't buy any merch for Christmas this year, or that they haven't been to a game this year because of it. Generally these people are over 40 or 50, but I think generally the crowd at NFL games and especially season ticket holders is over 40. (Who else can afford it?)

It's surprised me how many posts I have seen from people who see kneeling for the anthem as disrespecting veterans and military personnel and the country in general, not just the stated aim of disrespecting police.

I guess I was in disbelief that it was the protests, and there are a variety of factors in play, causing attendance to be down league-wide, but maybe the protests are the biggest factor...?
There were 2 things that have not happened in the Yonder household in a long, long time happen this year.

1. Going a full season without attending a Chiefs game.
2. Absolutely no NFL merchandise under the Christmas tree.

Lot's of little reasons, but the one thing I cannot and will not overlook is the protests and how the league provided cover for those poor mistreated millionaires. This league is so strict with appearances that they will fine players for stuff like wearing the wrong shoes or a small patch of some form on their clothing, but taking a crap on America, that's cool they have rights you know

I don't know how much money the league lost this year from people like myself, but I'm guessing not enough to end the hypocrisy. It's a shame, I enjoy an afternoon at Arrowhead
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:11 PM   #261
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taking a crap on America
This remains the stupidest take of 2017.
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I'd imagine sedated was the guy calling the cops on people for setting off fireworks. Doesn't seem like a fun guy.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:13 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
It'll be interesting to see the playoff attendance. Wasn't it just last season where several playoff games didn't sell out because the pricing was stupid high?
I know the NFL gave the Jags permission to remove tarps and add seats due to high demand.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:20 PM   #263
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Sure, that's why millions of people all over the country pay those prices. And by "deserves", are you talking about the $2.5 billion dollar Verizon deal that was recently signed?



Your flair for the dramatic is quite impressive.
The Verizon deal has nothing to do with people, physically, going to games. If anything, it's banking on the "mega-stadium experience" being a failed experiment and nothing more than a 20 year tax pillage for the elite. People are staying home...going to a football game was special...in the 80s/90s.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:24 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by BlackOp View Post
The Verizon deal has nothing to do with people, physically, going to games. If anything, it's banking on the "mega-stadium experience" being a failed experiment and nothing more than a 20 year tax pillage for the elite. People are staying home...going to a football game was special...in the 80s/90s.
What? Why were games in the 80’s and 90’s “special”?

Because it was cheap entertainment?
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:29 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by Over Yonder View Post
There were 2 things that have not happened in the Yonder household in a long, long time happen this year.

1. Going a full season without attending a Chiefs game.
2. Absolutely no NFL merchandise under the Christmas tree.

Lot's of little reasons, but the one thing I cannot and will not overlook is the protests and how the league provided cover for those poor mistreated millionaires. This league is so strict with appearances that they will fine players for stuff like wearing the wrong shoes or a small patch of some form on their clothing, but taking a crap on America, that's cool they have rights you know

I don't know how much money the league lost this year from people like myself, but I'm guessing not enough to end the hypocrisy. It's a shame, I enjoy an afternoon at Arrowhead
It's the NFL that took a crap on people who are patriotic...not the players.

They were payed millions from the DOD to "invent" pre-game patriotism...the owners dont give a shit about anything except what they can profit from. The military saw this as a recruiting opportunity and paid for it..nothing more, nothing less.

People need to quit pretending the NFL is patriotic...it's not unless they are being paid for it. I guess the average Joe really doesn't understand how propaganda works...
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:29 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
What? Why were games in the 80’s and 90’s “special”?

Because it was cheap entertainment?
I'd think cheap would be a big part of it.... when it's $100+ just to get in, that college atmosphere is going to be replaced with a lot of people who have been there/done that and aren't quite as rowdy. And empty seats don't help, of course.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:41 PM   #267
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I know the NFL gave the Jags permission to remove tarps and add seats due to high demand.
I bet it's all staged. If you look into the upper stands it'll be full of inflatable sex dolls or something.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:42 PM   #268
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I'd think cheap would be a big part of it.... when it's $100+ just to get in, that college atmosphere is going to be replaced with a lot of people who have been there/done that and aren't quite as rowdy. And empty seats don't help, of course.
In the past year, I’ve been to Rams, Dodgers and Clippers games.

The game day experience was exactly as it had always been.

I totally get that people might not want to drop $150-$300+ dollars to hit a single game but that’s just the cost of entertainment these days.

If people truly stop attending NFL games in droves, the market will adjust and teams will lower their parking, concession and ticket prices.

But I don’t understand why that would make the actual game itself “special”.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:42 PM   #269
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This remains the stupidest take of 2017.
That's fine, but this dummy American will continue to keep his pennies in his pocket when it comes to all things NFL until it stops. That's all I was saying in my post.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:45 PM   #270
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That's fine, but this dummy American will continue to keep his pennies in his pocket when it comes to all things NFL until it stops. That's all I was saying in my post.
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