The New England Patriots suffered the end of their eight-game winning streak in a game that saw a small rise in the ratings over last week. But the NFL is still not winning because even with better numbers this week, Monday Night Football was still a loss compared to last year’s Week 14 game.
With a heartbreaking 27-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots winning streak came crashing to an end, but the game was a small bright spot for the league as ratings improved over last week’s broadcast of the league’s Monday night game.
The game drew an 8.5 overnight rating on ESPN and that was up 9 percent over last week’s Monday game, Deadline reported.
That brought ESPN about 14 million viewers compared to its mere 10.844 million viewers for last week’s Monday evening game.
While that may seem like good news for the NFL — and ESPN — a review of last year’s Week 14 game shows a different story. As TV Ratings noted, this Monday’s game was “down ~7% vs the 9.1 for Ravens-Patriots MNF in week 14 last year.”
Patriots/Dolphins drew an 8.5 overnight rating on ESPN, down ~7% vs the 9.1 for Ravens-Patriots MNF in week 14 last year.
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) December 12, 2017
It is also a loss over 2015’s Week 14 game which saw a 9.7 rating and 16.03 million viewers.
Incidentally, the Monday game in 2015 was the lowest rated game MNF of Week 14 with the highest viewed game earning a 15.2 rating and almost 26 million viewers. Week 14 in 2015 saw around 106 million viewers for the week while this year the week 14 earned fewer than 90 million viewers. So, this really shows how far the league has fallen in the ratings game.
The analysis shows that the league is still struggling to fill stadium seats and attract viewers.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.