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Old 10-10-2016, 02:00 PM   #1
A.T. Hagan
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Default Experts Puzzled Over Significant Drop In NFL TV Ratings

http://www.npr.org/2016/10/07/497079...nfl-tv-ratings

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The NFL's TV ratings dominance was once bulletproof. But this year, they are down 10 percent across the board. And experts are struggling to find a reason why. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to reporter Joe Flint, who wrote about this for the Wall Street Journal.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Have we fallen out of love with football just a little bit? NFL TV ratings, once thought to be completely bulletproof, have dropped about 10 percent this season across all networks. The drop is even worse for the primetime games. Why is this happening? Well, there are no shortage of theories, but no definitive answers either. Reporter Joe Flint wrote about this for The Wall Street Journal, and he's here with me in the studio now. Thanks for coming in.

JOE FLINT: Thank you for having me.

MCEVERS: OK, so just last year, the NFL had some of the best ratings ever. I mean, what are some of the theories behind this year's drop?

FLINT: The main culprit, according to the NFL, is the election and all the coverage and all the attention that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are getting and that they're sucking a lot of air out of the room. One of the debates went up against Monday Night Football and, of course, crushed it. And on Sunday afternoons, even, the cable news networks are all up dramatically in viewers and men 18 to 49, which is, of course, the core NFL demographic. So that's what the league believes, but there are other folks who have different ideas.

MCEVERS: OK, so what are some of those ideas?

FLINT: Well, there are some who just think that the quality of NFL play has been on the decline. There's also some key players missing. Tom Brady was suspended for the first four weeks. Tony Romo's hurt. Peyton Manning's retired. All these things are - are maybe contributing to a little less fan interest. And then there is a very vocal minority, as I've learned in the last two days since writing about this, of people very upset with the league's non-reaction to the players protesting during the national anthem.

MCEVERS: OK, so you're referring, of course, to protests started by Colin Kaepernick, and then other players have followed. What are people saying about it to you?

FLINT: Well I've gotten a lot of emails from readers very upset about it. They feel it's disrespectful to the country, disrespectful to the game. They're upset that the NFL, which will fine a player if they're wearing the wrong socks or if the shoe laces aren't tied right, is letting this go by, which they see as a tacit endorsement.

Some readers say they don't have an issue with protest, but they don't want to see it on the football field. Why does sports have to be politicized? Can't it be the one refuge away from this? And others are just furious about it in general and say they're tired of spoiled athletes not respecting the country and - and the flag.

And, again, I can't say this is a real issue driving the ratings or not. The NFL certainly isn't - doesn't think so. On the other hand, if it is, I wouldn't expect them to say they recognize that. So, you know, we'll have to just see as time goes on, especially after the election.

MCEVERS: Now, I'm about to say something that some people would consider, you know, completely un-American and possibly even unconstitutional. Is it possible that, after all these years of consuming football 24/7, 365 days a year and all these different platforms, people are just getting tired of football?

FLINT: Well, it's interesting. I mean, I'm a football fan. I've grown up watching the game, and I still watch, but I don't watch it with the same intensity. I, myself, am kind of frustrated with the constant tweaking to the rules that the NFL does, the constant trying to get everything perfect that really interrupts the flow of the game, which, of course, then means more commercials, which then gives me another reason to turn the channel, lose interest and get bored. And I'm hearing from some readers that that, too, is an issue. And I think another thing we can't dismiss is we are learning so much more about the violence of the game - the injuries, the concussions. It's just become tougher to watch and see. And I don't think that can be diminished either, and especially as time goes on and fewer kids are playing football as youths, which means they might not be watching it as much as they become adults.

MCEVERS: Well, Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal, thank you so much for coming in.

FLINT: Thanks for having me.
Gosh, they just can't understand it.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:14 PM   #2
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The "experts" are idiots

boycott the nfl


I listen to and watch ( when I can) High School and College football. I support 2 local high schools and I have to say those kids play their hearts out every game
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:23 PM   #3
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Personally, I just don't get the enjoyment out of it that I used to. There is too much else to do on Sunday. Even when I do watch, I spend the whole time fiddling with my phone or laptop anyways.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:00 PM   #4
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Once you understand soccer....

Football is just stupid. Not to mention how boring it is. That is what always bothered me about it.

Of course my specialty is brain injury. Big surprise it is stupid to me.

Nothing happens but a lot of standing around in lines. Then lots of head to head banging for a few seconds.

I spend too much time in the real world doing that. Nothing special about it.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:14 PM   #5
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Maybe they shouldn't try to push every game as
THE BIG GAME!!!
like it was their god's second coming... Nobody can be at peak enthusiasm 24/7.
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Old 10-10-2016, 09:51 PM   #6
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I though of one other thing. I think perhaps the fantasy league phenomenon has backfired a bit on the NFL. Now that I have players playing in up to 9 games a week for each league I am in, any particular game is really not as important to me as it used to be. I'll always love my home team (or at least I would if the owners sold it - not mentioning names here), but it's just not as core to me anymore as it used to be.

And agreed on soccer. Both soccer and hockey are super fun to watch. The action never stops, although it is hard for some to get into them if they don't understand the nuances. Basketball is constant too, but it is hard for me to connect with a sport that requires supermutants at the highest levels.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:32 AM   #7
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I stopped watching pro sports years ago---way too many punks and thugs in uniform
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:38 AM   #8
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once they get their entertainers under control and get them doing their protesting on their own time I may watch again. Until then , I'm not watching anything that allows my flag to be disrespected.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:02 AM   #9
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As Sys mentioned, I prefer watching hockey and soccer. We used to watch a fair amount of NFL football, but it is soooooo slooooow, with way too many commercials.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:45 AM   #10
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Personally, with Peyton Manning retired and my lackluster attempt return to following the Colts, who SUCK this year, I'm just not that into the NFL this year. I've got no dog in this fight.

Head-to-head I've watched the debates and the baseball playoffs (Go Cubs Go) instead of the NFL.

So far the most exciting thing to happen in the NFL this season was the d!ldo being thrown on the field during the Patriots game (which Tom Brady then kept for personal use).
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:20 AM   #11
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Maybe people are just sick of football being crammed down their throats. Pro, college, off season, etc. What's next high school and pee wee?

Isn't it enough to have dedicated sports channels and an NFL channel? Do we have to have it on the other networks as well?

"Football is family"
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:35 AM   #12
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What's next high school and pee wee?
Actually, they already have a 10 minute segment on high school football results on the late Friday evening news. That's when I switch the channel. In the grand scheme of things, it's about as newsworthy as a fender bender.
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