NFL ratings are once again apparently on the decline. The 2017 NFL season opener between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots was one of the best season-0pening games we’ve seen in a while. Kansas City took it to the Super Bowl champs in their own home, pulling away for the 42-27 win in the fourth quarter after a tremendously competitive first three quarters.
The only problem? People weren’t watching this game as much as they watched last year’s season opener. This follows a recent trend of disinterest. Last year’s opener also was less than the 2015 season opener, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk detailed.
“Last night’s Chiefs-Patriots game drew a 14.6 overnight rating on NBC. That’s down from a 16.5 rating for the Panthers-Broncos opener in 2016, and a 17.7 rating for the Steelers-Patriots opener in 2015.”
The 2017 opener’s ratings were significantly lower, so what’s the deal? As PFT pointed out, many were likely tuning in for weather updates on Hurricane Irma, which is headed straight for Florida.
Though, last year there was the presidential election news to compete with the NFL, and there will always be competing factors.
We cannot help but wonder if more and more people are tuning out because of the issue of brain trauma. There is also the obvious issue in which more and more players are getting involved in protesting societal issues by using their platform as NFL players — sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, among other things.
Then there’s the issue of the next generation opting to cut the cord and utilize streaming services, rather than pay the major satellite and cable networks gobs of money for their services.
It’s going to be interesting to see if ratings continue to decline throughout the season.