NFL Ratings Slump Worsens As ESPN Forced To Slash $80 Million In Salary Costs

Tyler Durden's picture

As the NFL continues to try to address the ongoing civil war between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Commissioner Roger Goodell, not to mention the intermittent hostile fire from the White House, viewers are increasingly deciding they've had enough and are abandoning professional football viewership altogether.  As the NY Post points out today, the embattled league saw ratings dip 6.3% in Week 11 meaning 1 million fewer people tuned in to see players take a knee during the national anthem versus last year.

The TV audience for NFL games steepened its slide in Week 11, losing 1 million viewers versus last year’s season-to-date average.


The 6.3 percent slump — worsening from comparable declines of 5.6 to 5.7 percent during the previous three weeks — plagued a week whose off-the-field drama made gridiron tackling seem almost tame by comparison.


After starting 11.8 percent behind last year’s TV audience for NFL games in Week 1, league viewership had either held its own or narrowed the gap through Week 8.


The 6.3 percent shortfall in Week 11 reflects an average viewership of 14.9 million for the NFL’s 68 national telecasts this year versus 15.9 million for the season-to-date in 2016.


Meanwhile, the ratings dip, combined with massive subscriber losses (see: ESPN Lost 15,000 Subscribers A Day In October), has taken a huge toll on ESPN which Yahoo News reports will have to cut some $80 million in salary costs to offset their plunging top line. 

ESPN is poised to slash an estimated $80 million in salaries and other costs in coming weeks, sources tell Sporting News.


The third round of layoffs in two years at the Disney-owned sports network is expected to come down after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. Sporting News broke the news that ESPN planned to lay off up to 60 people in late November and early December. Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated followed up with a report that said 100 positions could be impacted.


ESPN lost a whopping $1 billion in affiliate revenue after dropping 13 million subscribers in just six years, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. Sports insiders agree ESPN overpaid for the NFL's "Monday Night Football" ($1.9 billion annually) and the NBA ($1.4 billion a year). During 2016, ESPN's prime-time viewership fell 19 percent, according to the SBJ. Rather than driving Disney's profits, ESPN has been dragging them down, spooking Wall Street analysts.


Meanwhile, ESPN management threw money at many anchors, analysts and reporters whose contracts were up in recent years to stop them from jumping to FS1 and other competitors. Some lost those high-paid TV gigs this spring. But ESPN is still on the hook to pay their full salaries until they get a new job elsewhere. Not many have over the past six months. Given the length of some of these expensive deals, not many will in the future, according to Awful Announcing.


"ESPN is dealing with three simple math problems. They have fewer subscribers than they planned for. They have higher costs than they planned for. They lower ratings than they hoped for," said one source.

Perhaps it's time for the NFL to admit that while most Americans can agree that professional football is really fun to watch, roughly half of them are going to disagree with whatever political stance its players decide to cram down their throats during maybe best to just stick to football.

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knukles's picture

See, this is what happens when some feeble minded oligarchs begin to figure they "made football" what it is.
No silly, the fans made football what it is.
And the fan wanted football to escape all the political crap
And you jammed politics down his throat.

What the fuck did you expect?

There are gonna be two leagues
A football league that will survive
A negro protest league that doesn't have the fans to carry it.

Just sayin'

Anybody but me notice the left's running out of spokes people.

IridiumRebel's picture

Exactly knuks. They best understand who motherfucking owns the purse strings. Liberal riff raff as your target audience gets you this.


knukles's picture

So there is one bit of recompense, almost an amend.
Surfing the channels, I've noticed that in hiding the empty stands the camera are on the field the whole time!  Like there's a game being played!  And lots and lots of closeups.  Good viewing.
Well that's what the telly looked like back in the 50's and early 60's before the circus came to town.

And yet, commentators still are wearing colored ribbons, etc.
They don't understand that their trade is football.

Period end of fucking conversation.

Goodell will be disemboweled by the team owners before this is all over.

I mean FFS folks, his job was to PROTECT owner investment.



YUNOSELL's picture

Poor NFL -- this is all they knee'd

Gap Admirer's picture

I feel bad for the NFL cheerleaders. Those hotties don't deserve lower viewership. 

Time for a class action lawsuit against the wealthy, ungrateful, apes for ruining cheerleader careers and opportunities. 

YUNOSELL's picture

I guess at this point, they gotta take a knee thing they can get

jbvtme's picture

NFL...the bottom of the gene pool on steroids waiting for brain surgery.

Bes's picture

remind me again how making a statement

against the fucking POLICE STATE

is bad thing?


fucking pussies around here can't give credit

to people willing to risk it

all to bring attention

to Police Brutality, Police Militarism,

and the Prison Industrial Complex


I guess trump is too busy not sword dancing with the Saudis, not kissing Israel's ass, not pumping the MIC, not bending over for Wall Street, and ending the war on cash, civil asset forfeiture, and shutting down oligopolies........

oh wait, nm.  

no wonder morons need an "escape"

a safe space

fucking snowflakes



Herd Redirection Committee's picture

So if the problem is militarization of the police (esp. by way of training with Israelis), why are they making it seem like the problem is 'vile racism'???

overbet's picture

Wait what? I thought people were told their protest wont work.

IH8OBAMA's picture

Let's go back to all white sports teams.  When pro sports were just for whites we had players we could respect and look up to.


overbet's picture

There are a lot of dindus nowadays, but look at guys like Michael Jordan. As fierce as they come at the game, but a complete gentleman. Not one of these protestors are close to the athlete he was, yet he didnt act entitled at all. 

He made a difference off the court by cutting checks and donating his time. All these losers today need to take a note from his playbook.

dr kill's picture

OK genius,  if he's such a paragon, explain why MJ took off 2 years in the middle of his career to play baseball ?

cheka's picture

kneelers are puppets in the 'get whitey' operation that begain with the trayvon lies.  thousands upon thousands dead/injured because of it.  that's why

daveO's picture

It all started over 50 years before St. Trayvon.

Bumpo's picture

Is it a protest against the Police State? If it is, then the noble kneelers are very misguided. The popo wants nothing to do with the inner city any longer, because it just aint worth it. There! You got your wish. No more "police brutality". Work it out for yourselves, homeboy. If you ask me, its identity politics run amok, basically declaring Whitey racist bigots. That's what I see. It's not about the flag, that's for sure.. 

A Nanny Moose's picture

anti-police state, fine. But that's not what's going on here. This is another Communist push for equality couched in identity politics.

Communists will never stop pushing for equality until EVERYBODY is dead. EVER!

Mr Hankey's picture

No you want everybody to be forced to suck military/police dick,period.75% of all ZHers want the same thing.

Kayman's picture


"remind me again how (you) making a statement" on ZH matters?

26 weeks of shitty, infantile trolling.  Study up on the fallacy of Composition- if your rancid brain can grasp it.

overbet's picture

These are scared men and women patroling a wild jungle. Bad apples in every place, but most cops I have known arent aggressive violent animals like the dindus they protect normal people from. 

Handful of Dust's picture

End the NFL.

Only dumbed down crackers and poor Mesicans go to the games anymore.

Plus, people wearing any of these NFL shirts look like idiots.

Bigly's picture

When will they REMOVE the sports fee/tax added to one's cable bill???

Nobody wants to watch that shit. If i did not want internet, I'd cancel the whole thing but triple play is the same price essentially as internet only. A racket, for sure.

Guderian's picture

Same in Yoorope with football: mostly niggers and other trash cashing in millions here for doing the 'swallow act'; pretending to have been fouled and hurt. When not awarded for their anti-sportsman behaviour, these parasites yell and wail and wave, insisting on their obvious cheats.

I have come to believe, that this is all about putting 'immigration' as sth enriching on tv all night and all weekend, until there's sufficient of this garbage shoved down our brains.

German Migrational Team

Mr Hankey's picture

Safest job in the world 4 a gutless trigger-happy pedophile. 

Lynn Trainor's picture

"remind me again how making a statement

against the fucking POLICE STATE

is bad thing?"

Easy, I'll remind you.  Cuz you are stealing from your employer and the fans who had nothin to do with what you are protesting about.  Protest, parade your personal views, on your own time and dime.  You owe your employer respect and what he hired you for.  You are cheating your employer and your fans!  That's a bad, very unfair thing!

Chuck Walla's picture

You must have missed the photo of Obama bowing and kissing the Saudi King's dick.

Uncle_Cuddles's picture

Oh yeah real risk takers risking it all with their no cut million dollar contracts.

Juggernaut x2's picture

Most of them are washed-up looking whores that wear a ton of makeup and are a few pounds away from having to work at a strip club to support their meth habit

Gap Admirer's picture

Yikes! I don't want to watch your team's cheerleaders. 

Drater's picture

Another cuck thinking pussy belongs on a pedestal...

Gap Admirer's picture

Us beautiful people have to stick together.

Haters gonna hate.

Drater's picture

spoken like a true cuck...pussy is a commodity, not something to worship

StychoKiller's picture

Maybe so, but some of us don't have to pay for it.

edotabin's picture

It depends upon whom you ask. Those wishing to inject politics into it would argue that cheerleaders objectify and degrade women.

All I know is that football is a retarded sport, played by mostly retarded people and watched by those that never were able to understand that professional sports are nothing more than a distraction/misdirection. Getting heavily involved in stupid things like football should be a clear indication as to how empty and meaningless their lives are.

If people have any brains, they will completely stop watching any and all professional sports and will most definitely stop buying tickets and merchandise.

Draining the swamp starts by looking in the mirror and asking the tough questions.




Dancing Disraeli's picture

Stopped watching TV a long time ago, but my issue isn't with sports per se, but rather with what the NFL and NBA have become, which, like most TV programs and ads, are basically anti-White psyops.

If you are White and still watch ANY TV, you are a cuck.

Semi-employed White Guy's picture

I only watch commercials since they are so educational. Madison avenue teaches me that I'm a weak, stupid, ineffectual white loser and to respect my far superior strong, genius, much cooler black master.

Mr Hankey's picture

It is much more than that. 

Saucy-Jack's picture

People like to be entertained and enjoy life.

That does not prohibit someone from being aware of the lies we are told daily.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Low IQ,violent ,arrogant pricks,lifted to fame and glory and money because of the insouciance[sic!] of the American public. Like Hollywood "celebrities",fashion ,music ones.All Satanists,bowing to the One Eyed Baphomet(Dajjal).

I could never understand this fascination for this sport.I do not understand and like American football. especially with these repulsive players.


Bumpo's picture

Ill still watch football .. FOR FREE

Dutti's picture

I'm a bit disappointed that there still seem to be plenty football fans who are willing to sponsor "athletes" who believe in making political statements.

If these "athletes" take a knee to their brains, it's fine by me.

IridiumRebel's picture

I’m a teacher and one of my students placed his knee upon a chair in a quasi stance for it during the pledge. I showed him a pic of a soldier with his legs missing and told him that was “taking a knee”. He stands now.

And no, I’m not rah rah war. Yes, all wars are banker fueled, but some dumbass from the sticks decides to serve he/she/it at least gets my respect for trying to do something good if only misdirected.

Mr Hankey's picture

You give them positive reinforcement to keep doing it pedophile political pom-pom girl. I hope your whole family dies you brainwashing scumbag.

gmrpeabody's picture

Mr Hankey needs an ass-kicking...

Mr Hankey's picture

All by yourself,copsucking baby burning pedo?

Mr Hankey's picture

In 8 hours I'll  be sober & you will still be a .gov parasitic fat, stupid 'murican copsucking cuckfaggot.

IridiumRebel's picture

Thanks Mr Churchill. Your vitriol exposes your obsolescence and ineffectiveness. You can’t even type cohesive thoughts.

83_vf_1100_c's picture

  A bit early to be very drunk and raving at the moon. To each their own. Another holiday uninvited to a family meal. So sad. Luckily there is a local diner for you serving up turkey and mashed.

  Wild Turkey does not qualify as the main dish. You remind me of my 6'4" tin foil hat wearing bro in law. You absolutely can count on him at some point during the meal ranting loudly about something and then standing and ranting trying to use his size to intimidate. At this point I push back from the table and thank the wife's parents for dinner and leave. Took me twice to figure out this is his norm and I no longer go there if he will be in attendance. Sad but life is too short to willingly submit to bullying whackjobs.

  Dinner at home today with the wife and two of my 3 sons. Son #3 is stuck driving loads in West Texas to well heads. Sucks but overtime and he is all about stackong money so he can start up his own biz.