The NFL’s ratings have risen a bit this season, but not nearly enough to save the league’s plummeting revenue stream. Hopefully, this trend will continue and the NFL will cease to exist in five years.
For the TV industry, this National Football League season has brought good news and bad news.
The good: Ratings for professional football – the most valuable type of TV programming – are up 5 percent compared with last year. NFL broadcasts are averaging 15.8 million viewers this season, boosted by record-high scoring and more competitive games.
The problem is, advertisers typically buy commercial time before the season starts and negotiate ad prices based on ratings from the previous year, and last year’s ratings were down 10 percent from 2016-17. As a result, ad revenue for NFL broadcasters like CBS Corp., Comcast Corp.’s NBC, Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN and 21st Century Fox Inc. fell 19 percent in the first two months of the season.
While I cannot explain the rise in the NFL’s ratings – seriously, who voluntarily watches athletes who hate America? – the depleted revenue is probably the more important indicator. People are tired of Hollywood, tired of the media, and tired of political athletes.