HomeSportsNFL Ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Eagles-49ers Viewership Tanks

NFL Ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Eagles-49ers Viewership Tanks

by Jon D. B.
(Photo credit: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NFL Ratings continue to decline rapidly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with the latest casualty being the Eagles and 49ers.

The modern decline of the NFL has been one of the most written about topics of 2020. The headlines continue to dominate sports websites, and for good reason.

What was once the undisputed king of live television entertainment, the NFL has taken an absolute beating due to the political climate and current pandemic. Now, week 4 of NBC’s Sunday Night Football is taking a huge hit.

Eagles v 49ers massive Sunday Night Ratings disappointment for the NFL

The latest game – San Francisco’s 49ers vs the Philadelphia Eagles – is tanking in the ratings compared to previous years. According to, the Week 4 game brought in 11.71 million viewers, and held a 3.5 rating among the 18-49 demographic. While these are early numbers, the drop is sizable from the week 3 SNF game. This previous matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints drew 15 million viewers the week before.

While these are still impressive numbers, 2020’s ratings are down almost 20 to 40% from previous years’ viewership. The game squaring off against the NBA finals (featuring superstar teams LA Lakers & Miami Heat) didn’t help, either. Nor did the Eagles’ struggling offense and an “injury-plagued” 49ers.

Why is NFL viewership in the millions causing such alarm?

While 11 million may seem like a huge draw-in, it is less than half of what the NFL has come to expect. In 2019, when week 3 saw the Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys face off – the numbers were in a whole different ballpark. How different?

They drew an astounding 24 million viewers with a 13.7 rating.

Going by this drop alone – a more than 50% decline from one year directly into another – the NFL is in deep trouble.

And while the NBA is providing direct competition, they’re not faring any better. Mass protests against social injustice continue to sweep across both professional sports leagues. As pro-ballers become more and more involved in the current societal and political climate, their viewership continues to tank.

Whether this is due to an audience unwilling to mix sports and politics – or simply not on the same page as the outspoken athletes – is anyone’s guess. One thing is for certain, however: NFL ratings are dropping rapidly – and professional sports will never be the same.

[H/T Sportsnaut]