The NFL used to be a gigantic ATM machine for its owners, players and the television networks that broadcast the games, but things have changed.
Consumers are apparently voting with their clicker against the ongoing national anthem protests which started with multimillionaire San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during pre-game ceremonies.
“Kaepernick started to kneel during the anthem in the preseason to protest against racial inequality and the way cops treat African Americans,” Legal Insurrection explained.
Given all the media publicity surrounding his symbolic action, Kaepernick has inspired other such protests at athletic events around the country outside of the professional sector.
Prime-time viewership in the advertiser-desirable age 18-40 demographic is down approximately 14 percent, however, and overall ratings have declined an unprecedented 10 percent this season so far for America’s most-popular sports league up to now, formerly a money-making juggernaut.
The Indianapolis Colts-Houston Texans matchup on NBC “Sunday Night Football” was the lowest-rated game in that time slot in five years.
The NFL’s TV ratings plunge has been consistent throughout the 2016 season. Even though a Rassmusen survey revealed that 32% of respondents were less likely to watch the NFL due to the players protesting the national anthem, the NFL brass is in denial.
During Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, fans chanted USA when Kaepernick and two other players kneeled during the Star Spangled Banner. The Bills blew away the visiting 49ers by a score of 45-16.
Fox Sports 1 analyst Jason Whitlock has assailed “hyper-progressives” in the media for tanking NFL ratings because their agenda is inconsistent with sports culture, thereby discouraging people from watching. He has previously criticized Kaepernick’s protest as divisive and self-serving, but to some degree he gives the NFL player credit for making Americans more aware of the meaning behind the national anthem and the flag.
Other non-political theories for the ratings plunge include include oversaturation of games on TV and too many penalties and commercial breaks.