The NFL, looking for answers on how to increase their plunging TV ratings, plans to eliminate the 9:30 a.m. ET broadcast of games played in London.
The league hopes that by eliminating the early contests, which contribute to an oversaturated 14-hour football marathon on Sundays, they will spike ratings in the more popular regularly scheduled games played at 1:00 p.m. ET, 4:05/4:25 p.m. ET, and 8:30 p.m. ET.
Joe Flint writes at the Wall Street Journal that because of low viewer ratings for the London games, beginning next season the broadcasts will air during the afternoon in the United States.
Certainly, Pacific Time viewers won’t be disappointed with the elimination of the early broadcasts for the London games, however, the removal of the 9:30 a.m. ET games deprives viewers in Asia from watching football during prime time. According to NBC Sports PFT, bringing Asia into the viewership fold played a significant role in airing the London game in that time slot.
Reports surfaced that the NFL may eliminate Thursday Night Football due to declining fan interest, but according to Flint the league will continue airing the weeknight contests. PFT reported this week that the NFL may consider starting up the Thursday Night games later in the season, perhaps on Thanksgiving day, to help avoid viewer overload of watching too many games.