NFL Ratings Slipping: Are Football Fans Ditching TV for the Great Outdoors?

by Thad Mitchell
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New research suggests NFL fans could be getting off their coaches and into tents to explore the great outdoors.

The NFL’s television ratings are down so far in the young 2020 football season, according to Yahoo Sports. At the same time, a study found more Americans have turned to camping for recreational opportunities, according to Fox News.

NFL ratings are down across the board in week four of the season, according to the Yahoo report. Last week’s Thursday night game saw the Denver Broncos take on the New York Jets. Only 5.41 million people watched the game on the NFL Network, a 70 percent drop from last year.

NBC’s Sunday Football Game pitted the Philadelphia Eagles against the San Francisco 49ers. The game also dropped significantly, down 37 percent from last year’s numbers. CBS’ Sunday double-header also witnessed a sharp decline as the game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Bucs drew just 9.95 million viewers. The late game drew 18.61 million viewers for the Buffalo Bills vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, which is a 6 percent drop-off from last year.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football match between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, two of the league’s top teams, did improve over the previous week’s matchup with 14.6 million viewers. The other Monday matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers drew a paltry 8.65 million viewers.

NFL Fan to Outdoorsman?

While the NFL ratings numbers slip, camping numbers continue to grow. A new survey from Kampgrounds of America (KOA) found close to half of the people who went camping over the summer, were first-time campers or hadn’t camped in years.

Millennials accounted for 40 percent of all campers and 55 percent of new campers, according to KOA’s report.

“While it’s great to see a strong rebound of camping and the effect that has on the broader outdoor hospitality industry, it’s this summer’s high level of interest among new campers and the re-engagement of past campers that really excites me,” Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO of KOA, said in a press release, per Fox News.

[H/T: Yahoo]

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