You know the story about the NFL’s national television audience, and how the league is quickly losing the favored-nation status they once held amongst cable and network broadcasters. Less known, though no less disastrous to the league, is that the NFL has lost local support as well.
According to Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback, 25 of 31 NFL teams have seen a downturn in their local ratings.
As Pro Football Talk notes, “The Chargers aren’t included in that number because they’re playing in a new market this year, although it’s clear that the Chargers are struggling with their local fan base as well.”
Breer breaks the numbers down in his article, to show just how bad the local numbers have become for some teams:
Nineteen have dropped 5 percent or more, including brand name teams like the Cowboys (7% drop), Patriots (8%) and Steelers (6%), and both New York clubs (the Giants are down 7%, the Jets are down 37%). Conversely, only three teams (Chiefs, Bucs, Lions) have improved by more than 5 percent.
The most troubling aspect of all of this for the NFL, is that they’re losing local viewership for teams that have no business losing local viewership. The Steelers, Patriots, and Cowboys are among the most popular and successful brand names in the sport. Seeing those blue-chip franchises lose viewership, has to set off alarm bells in the NFL front office.
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