During a recent interview, longtime NFL announcer Al Michaels balked at the narrative of declining football ratings and TV viewership that has circulated in the media since the season began.
So far in the 2020 NFL season, the ratings are down only five percent from last year. In fact, viewership has increased each week. However, many believe the ratings for this season have dropped because of low numbers during Week 1’s games.
The Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer was asked about his thoughts on the matter. Michaels had some strong words for those that believe the NFL is in trouble because of its ratings.
“The biggest joke to me is when I look at some of these websites that deal with ratings and Hollywood and all this stuff. It’s always like, ‘Sunday Night Football ratings tank,” Michaels explained. “I’m going, ‘EXCUSE ME?!’ It’s been number one for 10 years in a row. You look at the Emmys—the Emmys—we beat the Emmys three to one.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s a part of me that wants to go, ‘Stop it already. What are you talking about?’,” he continued. “Ratings tank because it’s down to 19 million from 20 million? So when it comes to ratings that’s my feeling and I’m sticking to it.”
More of Al Michael’s Thoughts on the NFL
Later, Michaels was asked about broadcast television suffering from fewer viewers. However, in contrast, cable news numbers have skyrocketed because of the pandemic and the election. Regardless, Michaels was not buying into any of it.
“Our roof is way, way up here,” Michaels said firmly. “Their roof is way down there.”
The famous NFL sportscaster touched on a few other subjects as well during the Sports Illustrated podcast interview. He revealed that he’ll be calling the next eight games on Sunday night. And then, Mike Tirico will fill in again.
In addition, he said he has not bet on a football game in 25 years, but “horse racing is a different story.” He also said he has never been reprimanded by the NFL or NBC for his gambling references. Yet, he said “there will be a moan and a groan, maybe.”
Michaels went on to tell a story about referencing the point spread in the 1994 Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers. He spoke about what it’s like to announce games with no fans in the stadiums. And finally, he shared his thoughts on the “Collinsworth Slide.”
You can listen to the entire podcast HERE.
[H/T Sports Illustrated]