NFL Viewership Is Down 11% This Season As Fans "Take A Knee"

Tyler Durden's picture

In the latest sign that viewers are turning out in droves over the politicization of professional sports, the Associated Press reports that through the first three weeks of the NFL season, viewership for national telecasts of NFL games is down 11% compared with 2016, Nielsen company said on Tuesday. While games had averaged 17.63 million viewers during the first three weeks of last season, that number has dipped to just 15.65 million so far this year. 

The Nielsen figures don’t include many of the Sunday afternoon games that are shown to a regional audience, but not a national one.

The report is the latest sign that NFL ratings are, in fact, sliding, as President Donald Trump has claimed. Earlier this week, NBC reported a week-over-week, and year-over-year, drop in ratings for “Sunday Night Football” as the primetime match-up between the 27-10 winning Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders snared an 11.6/20. That’s the worst rating for SNF this season.

During the game, the Redskins linked arms last night, while nearly every single Raiders player sat on the bench during the anthem.

However, not every network saw a ratings dip. Bloomberg reports that CBS, whose Sunday night games included a closely fought matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals, experienced a small ratings bump, probably because the close score drew in more viewers.

President Trump has notably called for fans to boycott the NFL until owners adopt rules firing or sanctioning players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem. The feud between Trump and the league started Friday night when the president said any player who would kneel is a “son of a b***h” who deserves to be fired, adding that any owner who cracks down on  protests would be "the most popular person in the country - for a week at least." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft both said they were disappointed that Trump had "disrespected" the league in such a way.

Earlier today, Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who earlier this week linked arms and kneeled with his team after the Anthem finished playing, drawing a chorus of boos. The President suggested that the owner had promised him that players would stand for the anthem in the future.

And as the AP notes, next week’s ratings will be even more closely watched, since conservative groups and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity have joined in Trump’s calls for fans to boycott games.

So, the question for NFL franchise owners remains - if players continue to take a knee, will viewers join them?


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warpigs's picture

In a market we'd call that a "correction."

knukles's picture

Vanity preceding the fall.

UndergroundPost's picture

The Dallas Kneelboys & Pittsburg Kneelers down even more.

knukles's picture

Why, many may not be aware of this, but way back when us smelly old guys wus young, our daddies used to watch the weekend games and there wasn't any parade, national anthem, pledge of allegiance, flyover, marching bands or artillery barrages.
The NFL itself started that crap and guess who pays for it?
Uncle Sam Pays for the Air Time.
That's our taxpayer monies now being used for political protest that we do not endorse.

Let the NFL deal with this shit. 
You kneeled?  You got a problem.

Gentlemen, what you are seeing is the most modern of modern damage control operations since Tylenol poisoning. 
The jury's out on the results here.

If I were a team owner I'd want the Commissioner's guts served on his dining room table tonight for the main course.

thunderkiss's picture

I cancelled my one and only nfl package.  Fuck'em.

Schmuck Raker's picture

You guys'll be back for NFL's ICO.

beemasters's picture

Let's hope the 11% will have more time now to get involved in exposing the shenanigans in DC.

Semi-employed White Guy's picture

NFL is lauching its own cryptocurrency?  What is it called, KneeCoin?

Schmuck Raker's picture


Hoy shit, minus 8 to one posi??

You some sensitive bitches.

Random strokes for random folks, lololol.

SafelyGraze's picture

immigrants are the answer to the viewership problem

NFL is wildly popular in foreign countries

as more people enter from those countries, gate receipts will rise

Mr.BlingBling's picture

I’d say that trend would benefit soccer MUCH more than the NFL.

RumpleShitzkin's picture

Soccer is gay. Always was, always will be.

Advantage: NHL & NASCAR

Mr Hankey's picture

The only product shittier tha nfl is nascar. Slow cars,stoppages every 10 laps,cuckfag evil empire propaganda start to finish.

The_Juggernaut's picture

NASCAR = circle-jerk racing.  I'll take the europukes and F1.

Mr Hankey's picture

+1 .No excuse for a closed -wheel car not reaching 220 ona straight. 

Vageling's picture

NASCAR? Really..? How the fuck is that even an sport? Buncha inbred fuckers driving circles. They probably drive full automatic as well since shifting gears seems to be really something Americans need a special degree on. I find naked snails trying to cross the road more entertaining than fucking yankee car. 

Mr Hankey's picture

+1000. Total shit product, start to finish war propaganda. 

toady's picture

Just look at the cardinals in Phoenix. They fill the stadium with 70-80% Hispanics... and the Espanol broadcast gets better numbers than the English broadcast.... I don't know where they get the  $$$$$.... I can't afford $300+ a head!

Got The Wrong No's picture

I have Basic Comcast (soon to be ended) and only get NFL with Spanish Broadcasters. Stopped watching two years ago.

dark pools of soros's picture

do they take EBT? the ransom for season tickets is way past lawn mowing money

Got The Wrong No's picture

I bet those cheerleaders will be slamming with Burkas on. Did I need to put a sarc tag on?

Lumberjack's picture

These idiots are gunning for the...NHL.

Can you imagine Bruce Jenner getting a "can opener"?

If that community wants to play, then form your own fucking leagues. What's next, boxing?

Can you imagine Mike Tyson joining the womans boxing league?

Lumberjack's picture

My grandson plays hockey and here, girls are also on the teams. I will add they do a splendid job out there. They can take it and give it too.

Sports have become a commercialized and politicized business. Kids that do well can get great scholarships and pursue more pracitical futures with them. Many good players will never make it to the big leagues, so keep that in mind. Keep up on good scholastic achievement and sports. It teaches great teamwork and opens up doors.

My nephew got a 100% scholarship at Maine Maritime Academy for excelling in Soccer. Now as a top engineer makes more money than a lot of the better wall street traders.

This all reeks of the asshats that have broken up the family unit, real team work and common sense goals for their perverted self serving interests.

I've always disdained those who hide behind a flag, religion or women trying to further inappropriate political or self serving agendas.

Time to cut the crap. Make America Real Again.

Goes for you too Mr. President. Please take a moment to reflect before you speak. Actions speak louder than words, Sir, then again one aw shit wipes out a thousand attaboys. Stop focusing on this god damn soap opera/ circus and just do what needs to be done without speaking. My best advice.

Lumberjack's picture

Since this all came up, I wondered about Golf. I posed that question (after realizing I've never heard it at PGA events) to an old friend who hopefully will make the Seniors event soon. I just found out the PGA does not play the anthem at their events. And yes, they are 501-c rated too.

I was advised that events like the Ryder and President's cup do, but the PGA does not.

At least the NHl plays both the American (and Canadian version when applicable) at their events.

Just sayin...

Spanky's picture

"...[T]he PGA does not play the anthem at their events." -- Lumberjack

Oh the horror! It's time to hold those deplorables accountable!


Throat-warbler Mangrove's picture

The rules for a 501(c)(3) organization prohibit participation in politics.  Because of that, the donations to that organization are tax-deductible to the donor.  A 503(c)(4) organization has exactly the opposite rules.

Lumberjack's picture

Time to seriously review 501 period dot fucking org. We need a real jury of folks to do just that. No moar hoarz/jigglelowz. 

chunga's picture

What is the maverick outsider trying to do with this?

RumpleShitzkin's picture

I'll tell you what he's trying to do.
Not only is NFL and sports in general associated with patriotism (for whatever reason) it also serves as a means of general social release.

It's a pressure value, essentially. Every bit the bread and circuses of Roman as many here have pointed out time and again.

Why would the maverick want to plug up the pressure valve?

To get the fucking retards off their asses and in the streets. No more distractions. No more avoiding that which is in your face.
In doing so, people wake up to the marxists crap being piled on them.
He is also correct that he has got the NFL by the balls, too. The owners have put themselves in a spot where they can't back down. Anything from the coaches or owners will only serve to make the dindus act out even more. If they continue to indulge them, they'll sense weakness from the coaches and owners...and....still act out more.
The NFL is in checkmate. The only way to move is down and out.
All President Trump has to do is continue to point out the actions the NFL takes. The people do the rest.

This has been a long time coming. NFL became infested. It can't be saved.

chunga's picture

I'm in the minority here obviously. Trump is not winning me over, all I see is a POTUS pointing fingers at what was about 10 guys for "disrespecting" the flag and the military by kneeling down at sports games.

This is the same POTUS, in a long line of POTUS who send troops to kill and be killed in Afghanistan and other places. It was him who just extended the "mission" in Afghanistan and I've yet to hear a single solitary legitimate reason for being there from him or anyone else. That's something candidate Trump said he wouldn't do and to me what he's doing is pretty thoughtless, but effective, tactic.

What I think he's doing is pandering to the portion of what he considers his base who use the ceremony of the national anthem as a "safe-space" to deny the US is now a bankrupt, imperial, war-mongering police state.


HRClinton's picture

I told you that Trump is the selected Recruiter-In-Chief for the DOD.

Hence all the fuss about forced, staged patriotism, with all the showtime trappings.

swmnguy's picture

You're correct, Knuks.  Who introduced politics to the NFL in the first place?  That league was described as "The Last Bastion of Fascism" by Dave Meggyesy 40 years ago.  All the flyovers, pandering to the military, live-satellite remotes to soldiers in other people's countries watching NFL games, all the ass-kissing to Empire; that's not "Political?"

Racist sports fans have a big problem, as "Freddie" keeps pointing out.  They like their niggers to shuck and jive and entertain them, but they don't like it when they get uppity and have opinions.  But they love them some sports.  What's a he-man virile sports-loving racist to do?  We can't all give a shit about NASCAR.

dark pools of soros's picture

weed, you tube and video games

if fantasy football starts declining it is over for the NFL

logicalman's picture


Professional Sport is a distraction at best.

It has now become a political tool.

Time to drop the whole thing.

oDumbo's picture

I love football, but some things are more important... like not being shit on and paying for it at the same time.

Handful of Dust's picture

Masochist viewership is up 30%!

They love being shit and spat upon.

yogibear's picture

It should be down 50% with empty seats. Sending a clear message to these anti American s.

Mr Hankey's picture

The story that just won't die. Suck my little black flag ,copsuckers & white beta bottom bitches. 

HRClinton's picture


<<  Defending Constitution, Bill of Rights; Defending country on own turf

<<  Flag waving, wearing badges, pins, pledging allegiance, mooing with the Herd

Which is True Patriotism (that takes personal courage, risking body, livelyhood or reputation), as opposed to Fake Patriotism (risking little/nothing, but going along with Herd behavior)?

Gaius Frakkin&#039; Baltar's picture

Anyone who watches that shit now is a literal cuckold as far as I'm concerned.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

They are a cuckold only if they watch it now?  How about before?  I support the right of people to kneel and not honor the national anthem and flag.  I also support the right for people to be upset about those that kneel.  In fact, I support my right not to give a shit either way and to laugh at everyone that is getting pissed about either side.  This shit is a wedge issue and a distraction to everything that actually matters.  


Divide and conquer...I just thought it would be over more relevant aspects of life.


besnook's picture

you missed the point. it isn't about free speech and agreeeing or disagreeing with it. it is about politicking where is doesn't belong. the playing field is not where i want to see somebody's personal opinion about anything other than the sport being played. i think the guys who used to hold up the biblical verse signs in the endzones should have been thrown out of the stadiums.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Sorry Charlie, but all of life is politics.  Avoid it at your own peril. Additionally, all of the flag worshipping is being pushed on you with YOUR tax dollars.  All of the camo uniforms are pushing for pride in military to fight wars that have nothing to do with freedom.