National Anthem

NFL Ratings Fall at Faster Pace

from The Wall Street Journal,

Average audience for a game fell 9.7% to 14.9 million, but league says NFL programming still accounted for 33 of top 50 programs on TV in 2017.

The decline in TV ratings for National Football League games accelerated in the recently completed 2017 regular season, though NFL games remain among the most-watched programming on television. The average audience for a game was 14.9 million this season, down 9.7% compared with 16.5 million viewers for the 2016 regular season, according to Nielsen. That is a steeper decline than the 8% viewership erosion last year. A variety of potential explanations have been cited for the ratings woes. Some viewers have said they were turned off after some players knelt during the national anthem to protest against social injustice. President Donald Trump has also criticized the protests. Television executives acknowledge that the protests had a part in the ratings decline, but they say overexposure of NFL programming is the primary cause. The NFL has increased the number of Thursday night games in recent years and added early morning Sunday games played in London.

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