A large share of fans responded to the NFL’s tacit endorsement of Colin Kaepernick’s anti-American message by refusing to tune-in to games, prompting a huge decline in TV ratings.
Aside from his disrespect for the national anthem, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback also sparked outrage by donning socks embroidered with pigs wearing police uniforms.
Early in the season, ESPN and network broadcasts never missed an opportunity to spotlight Kaepernick and his followers taking a knee during the pre-game ritual. Fans, though, saw Kaepernick’s protest as thumbing his nose at America. As a result, regular season ratings for 2016 dropped 8% to 16.5 million viewers per game from the 17.9 million who watched games during the 2015 NFL campaign.
The NFL and its associate broadcasters preferred to blame the decline in this year’s viewership on the presidential election, but the data doesn’t support their claim. Although a pickup in ratings occurred after the election ended, viewership compared to the same duration in 2015 still showed a drop.
As Breitbart News reported last week, “When you compare viewership numbers after this year’s election against last year’s 2015 NFL season numbers during the same period of time, per game viewership declined by approximately 4 percent from 19.24 million viewers in 2015 to this year’s 18.43 million. Quick arithmetic calculates the NFL lost over 800,000 viewers since last year during the same period.”
Nevertheless, the Daily Caller reports that despite the steep decline in viewership the NFL takes in more revenue than any other professional sports league thanks to multi-billion dollar TV contracts. NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN coughed up a stunning $7.3 billion to broadcast the gridiron gladiators in 2014 alone.