While the NFL meets with its players in New York to essentially decide which groups of leftist radicals will get your money, their business is quite literally falling apart.
A new report has found that through the first six games of this year, ratings have fallen 7.5 percent over last year’s total viewership at this time.
With an average number of viewers standing at 15 million through Week 6, viewership is down over a million viewers compared to last year’s average of 16.2 million, TV ratings service Nielsen reported.
The cratering ratings are not a single season phenomenon. Viewership has been falling steadily for the past three seasons and last year was down over 2015’s numbers, as well. But this year’s ratings crash coincides with the ubiquitous protests against the U.S. staged during the national anthem by players and teams across the league.
Game after game has seen tumbling numbers, a fact that has caused at least one financial service to warn investors that the NFL’s troubles are hurting a network’s bottom line.
According to financial agency Credit Suisse, CBS’ consistently plummeting game ratings will have a direct impact on the company’s earnings.
The financial service warns that falling NFL ratings could cut CBS earnings by as much as five percent.
Credit Suisse isn’t alone in warning that the NFL’s fall from grace is bad for the networks’ bottom line.
In September another report claimed that CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC could take a $200 million hit to their estimated $2.5 billion in NFL advertising earnings, if fans continue to turn away from their football habit.
At that time, Guggenheim Securities analyst Michael Morris noted that the NFL’s fall has been across the board.
“Since the NFL season opened Sept. 7, shares of NBC parent Comcast are off 9 percent, ESPN parent Disney has seen its stock drop 3 percent and shares of CBS are down 5 percent,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote. “Only shares of 21st Century Fox have risen in that time frame, up 2 percent.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.