NFL Blames “Too Many Games” For Crashing Ratings

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Unwilling to face the central truth about why their ratings are sinking like a stone, the NFL is reportedly looking anywhere and everywhere for explanations and cures that won’t involve forcing players to stand for the national anthem. With the facts staring the league right in the face and millions of football fans screaming at the top of their lungs about the intolerable un-American demonstrations, NFL executives are quite certain that ratings are down because there is an “over-saturation” of football on television.

To that end, executives are tossing around the idea of cutting some of the games from the broadcast schedule, a move that could include trimming at least ten games off the Thursday Night Football lineup. That would bring that show’s football schedule from 18 games to only eight.

“Ten years ago, the NFL had 32 game windows through week six,” wrote the Sports Business Journal. “This year, it is up to 39, a 22 percent increase. It’s even more crowded in college, where the 2007 windows to this point added up to 105. This year, it’s at 179, up a whopping 71 percent.”

NFL executives may not be able to fully agree on what’s causing the ratings to sag, but no one can argue that it isn’t happening. Seven weeks into the season, the ratings are continuing to flatline. NFL games averaged 15.1 million viewers this past week, which is down roughly 5% from last season and a startling 18.7% from 2015.

While most TV stations have stopped airing the national anthem and have ordered commentators not to mention the ongoing controversy, players are still dropping to one knee and/or staying in the entrance hallway to protest the song and the flag. This past week, selected players from the Bills, the Titans, the Saints, the Packers, the Colts, the Vikings, the 49ers, the Seahawks, the Giants, and the Steelers participated in some form of protest, although relatively few players actually chose to kneel during the song.

“Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!” President Trump tweeted on Monday.

Judging by what we’ve seen lately, this has the hallmarks of a controversy that may in fact die off on its own given enough time. Of course, if there’s another “Michael Brown” type case in the headlines, we’re sure to see the players take a renewed interest in the protests, which will in turn inspire even more viewers to engage in a protest of their own.