Patriots Save Sunday Night Football From Ratings Collapse, Still Down Huge from 2016


If it wasn’t for moral ratings victories, the NFL would have very few ratings victories at all. Week 10’s edition of Sunday Night Football was no exception.

The Week 10 feature of Patriots versus Broncos was a ratings victory for the NFL, registering a 11.5/19 in metered markets. Which was up nearly 20 percent from last weekend’s contest between the Dolphins and the Raiders.

However, the “morality” of the ratings victory comes into focus when you look behind the numbers. The Raiders-Dolphins game from Week 9 was one of the lowest-rated SNF games of the season, and one of the lowest rated Week 9 games in the history of Sunday Night Football. In short, it would have been hard for the Patriots-Broncos to not do better than what the Raiders-Dolphins had done.

Also, throw in the fact that Sunday night’s game featured Tom Brady and no anthem protesters, and all the ingredients are there for  an improvement over what the NFL did in the previous week.

Put into a larger perspective, while Sunday night’s game was a 20 percent increase from last week’s game, it was down 20 percent from last year’s Week 10 match-up.

All this being said, SNF still won primetime:

Though, the NFL winning primetime might not be the best indicator of the overall health of the league. The NFL has always won primetime. Though, those margins are falling dramatically:

While the NFL’s descent from its lofty perch, high atop the television world, has not yet resulted in it getting beaten out by “PAW Patrol.” The descent, is nonetheless evident. What’s not necessarily evident, or obvious, is what the NFL plans to do to stop it.


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