Surprise: National Anthem Protests Biggest Reason People Tuned Out NFL Games

It’s not the only reason, and only a small amount tuned out, but, when you equate that small percent with the number of people who watch football games, the drop turns rather huge

From Darren Rovell at ESPN

National anthem protests were the top reason that NFL fans watched fewer games last season, according to a new survey released by J.D. Power.

The pollster said it asked more than 9,200 people who attended either one football, basketball or hockey game whether they tuned into fewer games and why. Twenty-six percent of those who watched fewer games last season said that national anthem protests, some of which were led by Colin Kaepernick, were the reason.

After that, 24 percent of those surveyed who said they watched fewer games said they did so either because of the league’s off-the-field image issues with domestic violence or with game delays, including penalties.

20% said it was due to advertising and commercials, which is strange, as people simply change the channel.

J.D. Power noted that only 12 percent of the fans it surveyed said they watched fewer NFL games last season, with 27 percent of people saying they watched more and 62 percent saying they watched just as much as they had the season before.

So, only 12%.

NFL game viewership on networks that broadcast games was down an average of 8 percent for the 2016 regular season versus the season before. Before the election (Nov. 8), games for the first nine weeks were down 14 percent compared to 2015. The final eight weeks saw only a drop of 1 percent compared to Weeks 10-17 in 2015.

Interesting numbers. I’d hazard to guess that you have a combination of the ending of the election season, ending of broadcasters and on-air personalities getting political, and ending of broadcasters covering the silly protests by entitled, pampered, highly paid athletes less, plus the short memories of viewers. There were also plenty of great games in the 2nd half of the season. But, the loss of viewers through the first nine weeks represents a huge loss of revenue.

People just want to watch sports. To leave the craziness of the world behind for a few hours (well, could be more like binge watching, starting with morning coverage, moving to the 1 and 4pm games, to the 830pm Sunday night game). Just show us football.

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5 Responses to “Surprise: National Anthem Protests Biggest Reason People Tuned Out NFL Games”

  1. bob sykes says:

    On the plus side, there is the imagery of black athletes kneeling before white fans. Colin really didn’t think that through. But then, blacks live in the moment.

  2. drowningpuppies says:

    There were also plenty of great games in the 2nd half of the season.

    Plus the greatest Super Bowl ever with the exception of the 1969 Jets upset win over the Colts.

    • Dana says:

      Super Bowl III’s outcome was great, but the game itself was terrible.

      Since 2000, the Patriots have provided the best Super Bowl games, always winning or losing by three or four points.

      • drowningpuppies says:

        Aw c’mon, Dana.
        Broadway Joe fulfilling his brash promise to win over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.
        That win MADE the Super Bowl and the NFL.

  3. Dana says:

    Actually, I thought that most games were pretty marginal.

    When I lived in Pennsylvania, we got the Eagles’ (ugh!) games, the Steelers’ games, the Giants’ games and the Jets’ (double ugh!) games. Now that I’m back in the Bluegrass State, I’ll be stuck with the Bungles’ (quadruple ugh!) games.

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