New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady admits he does not follow the NFL like he used to, a statement consistent with a general decline in TV ratings for the National Football League.
With the league seeing two full seasons of massive declines and 2017 seeing another near ten percent loss of viewers, Brady was asked why he thinks fans are abandoning pro football, Yahoo reports.
Brady, arguably the NFL’s biggest star, said he thought the reason for falling ratings is the scattered media landscape:
There’s so much for us to consume, as we all know. There’s so much happening… I hate to say it: I don’t follow it like I used to, because, so many other things to follow. And it’s just what can grab your attention. There’s a lot more competition today than there’s ever been, I think, especially with social media, for people to consume information or to consume content. The NFL has had a great product, people love watching the game. I think it’s still doing better than every other program out there. But compared to a time when there was less things to do, it doesn’t live up to those standards.
Why are NFL TV Ratings Down? Tom Brady says: "There’s so much for us to consume…I hate to say it, but I don’t follow it like I used to because there are so many other things to follow…I think that it’s still doing better than every other program out there” #MIGlobal pic.twitter.com/zbWBLOzz52
— Rich Greenfield (@RichBTIG) May 1, 2018
It is not a good sign for the league’s biggest star to admit that he too, has stopped following the league the way he once did.
Ratings fell nearly 10 percent for the 2017 regular season, a number that only added to the 13 percent to league lost for the 2016 season, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the last two seasons also saw an increasing propensity of players, owners, and league officials injecting left-wing politics into the game.
On the other hand, Brady’s explanation of a larger media landscape driving fans to distraction hasn’t seemed to hurt college football ratings. Early this year, even as the NFL’s ratings were collapsing, college football was enjoying strong ratings.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.