NFL television ratings have been a trending topic ever since the season began a few weeks ago as data has shown numbers dropping. Last week’s Monday Night Football game enjoyed a boost in ratings because of its average of 14 million viewers. However, yesterday’s MNF game joined previous weeks as ratings declined because of an average 8.65 million viewers.
The difference in last week’s viewership numbers compared to this week could have everything to do with the team matchups, and the quality of play. Last week, MNF boasted arguably the best regular season game the NFL has to offer. Last year’s Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs faced the 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens. The game had all the hype the league could ask for out of a primetime matchup.
However, Week 4’s MNF schedule had some last second adjustments. Since New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the league delayed their game to Monday to make time for further testing. The Patriots-Chiefs game was therefore scheduled for an early Monday evening kick-off. Additionally, the original game time of the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons was pushed back until almost 9 p.m. EST.
Furthermore, it did not help that the quality of play in the second game could have driven viewers away. The Packers went up early and never looked back as the Falcons struggled to keep up the entire game.
More On the NFL Ratings Drop During Week 4
Previous to the league’s Week 4 games, the NFL’s TV ratings were down only five percent from last year. In fact, viewership had increased each week this season until now.
Basically, Monday night had two separate games running concurrently, and overlapping for a portion of each game. The Chiefs-Patriots game drew 14.60 million viewers, even more than last week’s MNF audience of 14.02 million viewers. In contrast, the overlapping and one-sided Falcons-Packers game drew 8.65 million viewers – a decrease of 17 percent from last year.
That said, it is worth highlighting that the NFL continues to beat out all other broadcasts on days that their games air. The league continues to draw a larger audience, and it even outdrew the Emmys.
Yet, it’s also clear that a sizable portion of NFL fans who once watched the league regularly are spending Sundays elsewhere. It will likely take most of the regular season, and a larger pool of data, to truly pinpoint the reasons for the NFL’s decline in ratings.
[H/T Yahoo Sports]