NFL Ad Revenue Crashes Due to 2017 Ratings Decline

AP Goodell Serious
The Associated Press

The National Football League’s 2018 ad revenue has sharply declined due to the crashing television ratings the league suffered in 2016 and 2017, according to reports.

The NFL’s TV ratings suffered a precipitous loss over the previous two seasons, with the 2016-2017 numbers down 10 percent. TV ad pricing is based on previous ratings periods, and so these declines seriously cut into the ad prices that the league could charge for the 2018 TV season.

Because of the bad numbers from last season, ad revenue fell 19 percent in the first two months of the 2018 season, Bloomberg reported.

“The effects of the lower audiences last year are spilling into this season,” said James Fennessy, chief executive officer of advertising research firm Standard Media Index.

There is a spot of good news for the league’s revenue for next year, though. Thus far this season, with the player protests during the national anthem fading, the TV ratings slide finally stabilized and in some cases have even seen modest gains. So, when it comes time to calculate next year’s ad rates, the NFL will see a small bump in revenue.

Ratings for 2018 ar up five percent from last year. But some particular weeks and particular games have still suffered. This year’s Hall of Fame Game and induction ceremony, for instance, fell to lows not seen since the late 1990s.

Good times are not yet back for the NFL, and the falling ad revenue for 2018 is just one more example of the league’s troubles in real dollars.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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