Glazer: Why the NFL is Dying

For more than a decade the NFL’s been the most popular attraction on television…

No mas.

Viewership is dropping like a rock with ratings down 7.5% this season alone and 18.7% since 2015.

For several reasons.

First off, many fans say the games have gotten kinda boring. Are they? Some games are close and exciting like the recent Chiefs-Raiders that came down to the last play of the game (which unfortunately we lost in a heartbreaker).

Yet that game was the lowest rated Monday Night Game ever. What?

The Chiefs were picked this season to be the featured NFL team with six stand alone games at night. Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night games. KC lived up to the expectations with a huge win over the Patriots on game one before a large TV audience on a Thursday night.

And even though KC maintained a winning 5-0 record after the season began and Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt were on fire, somehow the fans were not attracted as much to the Chiefs games as expected.

Why? 

Alex Smith is not the sexy quarterback like Tom Brady and Hunt and crew are relatively unknown.

Yes the NFL star list is dropping. It all starts at quarterback but with no more Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers out for the year with an injury, it’;s taken a toll.

Plus now the new hot star, Deshaun Watson is out for the year, Eli Manning looks to be about done and the list goes on.

Star power matters and it’s now a bit weak. 

Not only is there no dominate team out there save the Philadelphia Eagles –who aren’t too sexy and their stars are unknown to the average fan.

The Patriots have been far from exciting and the Steelers are winning but not dominating.

Then there are of course all the scandals: domestic violence, kneeling for the national anthem, TOO MANY GAMES ON THE TUBE EACH WEEK.

And Vegas says betting is down because the games are too hard to call with league parity. This past Sunday the No 1 team in the AFC, the Steelers were down 17-6 late in the game to Indy (who stinks) but came back to win by 3 late. The Steelers were a 10 point favorite.

That’s tough on the bettors.

People also watch games on their cell phone or computers which are not measured for tv viewing.

So now advertisers are bailing, like Papa John’s Pizza.

It’s not good – all this falling of the viewing numbers.

And younger people are not into the NFL like the Baby Boomers and Gen X.

You add in 20 plus college games on each week and it’s just too much of a good thing. How about those games from London on at 7 a.m. Sundays?

It’s NFL overload. 

They need new stars, better build ups and maybe a few less games on the TV.

Hey, we need new Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes to take the league by storm next year.

That will grab some attention.

Sometimes you hit your peak and then it’s hard to climb back up – and this could be the case with the NFL today.

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17 Responses to Glazer: Why the NFL is Dying

  1. Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

    Sorry, CG. It has nothing (or very little) to do with NFL “stars” or how many college games are on every week. The reality is that consumers have WAY more entertainment options with each passing year. Advances in electronic devices, social media, home entertainment systems, streaming video platforms, et al have cut into the NFL’s ratings. It’s not the protests. It’s not the parity. It’s not the lack of stars. People are on information overload and that isn’t ever going to be good news for the NFL or other professional sports, for that matter. It is the reality of “progress”. The NFL will always be around as long as there is a buck to be made. But, the days of them being the 400lb Gorilla are O..V..E..R.

    • CG says:

      Jim I agree the NFL has peaked and people find other options…I do think losing the young audience is an issue..hey they still are powerful…I love the NFL so I am sorry to see all this…but its part of the ‘hate game’ as well…

      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        The NFL has also screwed itself by tying itself exclusively to DirecTV for out of market games. HUGE MISTAKE. They’d make way more money by doing what MLB does, where ALL out of market games are available to anyone who wants to pay for their MLBtv streaming package. You don’t need to be a customer of any particular cable/satellite service. As long as you have internet (the faster the better) you can get all the games.

  2. Rainbow Man says:

    -8th Grade Catholic Football this year in KC had like 4 teams. It is taking like 4 or 5 schools to comprise a 15 man roster. Soccer is booming.
    -Fantasy football ruined everything. It intimidated casual fans out of the system.
    -I think people think the game is rigged.
    -Games are too long in college and pro fb. People do not have the time anymore.

  3. Can't spell mysogynistic without CG says:

    Only way to watch NFL is on RedZone.

    You get to see every red zone possession in real time and most importantly…no commercials.

  4. Phaedrus says:

    You left out a big reason…instant replay and all the ridiculous rule interpretations. Did he make a “football move” before or after his left knee brushed the grass…and did he have the secure control of the ball when it hit the pylon and fell out of bounds? Let’s look at 15 replays from 16 different angles ans spend 10 minutes figuring it out.

    Once nfl games started bring analyzed like the zapruder film, I quit watching. They take themselves way too seriously…it’s a game for christ’s sake.

    All the new rules that benefit the offense also didn’t help. It’s practically illegal to hit anyone nowadays. If I’m going to watch “basketball on grass”, I’ll just watch actual basketball.

    • CG says:

      Ye P it is a game of life or death it seems, points well taken.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      Phaedrus…agree for the most part. But let’s not stick our heads in the sand. It’s not just “a game for christ’s sake”. It’s a multi billion dollar business. There’s a reason the officiating and rules are under such scrutiny. Lots and lots of cash at stake.

      • Phaedrus says:

        Why do we have to determine with 1000% accuracy that a receiver caught a ball and made a football move, when nobody noticed that the right guard held the defensive tackle, which allowed the qb to make the pass in the first place.

        There are hundreds of variables/interactions on each play. Trying to make sure that every call is correct is a fool’s game and makes the end product unwatchable.

        In this case, the cure is worse than the disease.

        • Phaedrus says:

          Bottom line, it is a game. They’re not out there curing cancer. Players will get paid if the call is correct or not. Fans will buy tickets and shirts.

          Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the missed call in the 85 world series caused any damage to mlb.

  5. The Word says:

    Over Saturation is also a big one. Growing up there was games on Sunday afternoon. One Sunday night (Shared with ESPN and TNT believe it or not) and Monday night. In December there was a few Saturday games. But not a lot.

    Now, there are of course the Sunday afternoon games and Monday night. But then there are Thursday night games, and in Dec there will be a Saturday night game of the week.

    And during the playoffs, why is every game on prime time? I remember there were two Saturday games. Games used to start at 11AM CST. The games were over by 5PM.

  6. Kerouac says:

    “Why the NFL is Dying”

    – it’s dying for all the reasons referenced, CG… over-saturation and corruption, simple terms GREED fir$t and foremo$t. Same self-inflicted wound spelled demise ‘Gillette’s Friday Night Fights’, part of the larger ‘Gillette Cavalcade of Sports’ broadcasts, which ran 1940’s until 1960, first on radio & later television, that covered a variety of sports.

    Enter ‘closed circuit’ fights, and by 1969 a 45 year old Marciano vs 27 year old Cassius Clay, aka Ali… a ‘$taged fight’. Boxing ‘fixes’/mafia merely followed the footsteps MLB its Black Sox $candal 1919, and was but precursor NFL 1960’s where Hornung GB and Karras DET (among other players) as well Namath Bachelor’s II 1969 and Len Dawson Superbowl IV 1970 rumors. Too, several of the Chiefs games in 1966 were taken off the board by the odds makers Las Vegas due ‘irregularities… same season KC ‘managed’ to get to the first $uperbowl.
    _________

    Too, aging audience interest boxing (example, Kerouac: morphed great younger days, nil for a long time now) to an younger audience apparently more inclined MMA today.
    Same waning interest mine football – once watched it due love, now no reason beyond habit.

    An article 1966 was prescient, forewarning about an coming potential over-saturation football. AFL/NFL would play games Saturday nights, also were an few Friday nights, if not routinely. ‘Monday Night Football’ was ‘not’ first televised in 1970 – rather, first aired a 1966 game GB vs DET, and from 1966-1969 both the NFL and AFL scheduled games on some Monday Nights. Thus, nothing happening today anything other than preordained, continued over-saturation; at some point in time – like now – enough is more than enough.
    _________

    Sports has been rotten/at least $u$pect long before was ever ripe the unmasking, its not so little dirty secrets.

    The farcical nature modern sports compared yesteryear as well, also clearly a reason said’s decline. In 1956, Champion boxer Rocky Marciano retired, undefeated, age 31. Was still novelty when George Blanda finally hung up his cleats NFL age 48 (he was primarily a kicker but still tossed 3 passes 1975.)

    Fast forward: George Foreman was still boxing just shy age 46, Bernard Hopkins age 49 his last fight; talk about ‘bum of the month’… two Methusaleh’s, no waiting. Why? $ame reason 55 year old Bobby Riggs vs 29 year old Billie Jean King 1973, an 48 year old Jim Brown trying outrun Franco Harris age 34 (he couldn’t), Terrell Owens/Chad Johnson 2017 continuing to insist they can still play with the younger players: for the love of Benjamin$.

    🙄

  7. E.H. says:

    Man, when the networks and the constant commercials(after commercials after commercials) started being unacceptable around 2011-2013 I started to watch/care less and less.

    I checked into a couple of games on Sunday. I could definitely tell there are less commercials now. The NFL is a perfect game to watch on T.V., both the networks and the NFL got way too greedy and it’s all downhill from here..except there’s nothing to do in the fall when you’re depressed by either working or going to school. The NFL is a great break from all that..something to look forward to that’s for sure!

    • CG says:

      E.H. I think the games that are not about the your team or your team…are watched mostly for betting reasons and fantasy points. Yes E.H. it sure is a long break from the headaches of life and the week, an escape.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      It was. Until they started cramming their politics down our throat. And I gotta agree with you on the commercials. Just brutal. Especially enraging is when a team scores. TD. Extra Point. Commercial break. Kick off. Commercial break. Seriously, one damn play and you’re back into a commercial break. I just change the damn channel, and quite often find myself interested in something else. The NFL is slitting it’s own throat in about 20 different ways.

  8. boom boom says:

    one guy isright….booom boooom.
    put two small insignificant teams on monday night (kc and oakland) and you get
    no viewers. Put new england and atlanta…you get huge ratings.
    I now watch football with the amazon stick and noone will ever know it cause it can’t
    be metered. Plus the ratings were jacked with that caused almost every show
    on tv to lose ratings.
    And don’t forget the thousands of bars/restaurants/sports bars that don’t count.
    Nick and jakes has probably 300 people watching but not one gets metered.
    And as far as papa john…he apologized and his biz will take a dive…not only becase
    of his rotten pizza but because there’s more really good competition in the restaurant biz/more pizza places (look at all the new pizza places in joco….grimaldis/pizza locale/the bars are now serviging some great pizza and ifpapa john givesup his
    nfl ads pizza hut will jump right in there in minutes.
    But get out and see what people are doing…1 million people a month cut the cord and are never rated….you can watch games on i phones/i pads/etc and they’re never rated. Every bizhas ups and downs and the owners overexposed their product. There are
    probably 30 sports tv channels on every day. After a while you get sick of the
    talk shows/analysis/ etc. of every single player and play.
    But don’t worry about the league….they’re all billionaires with 10-20 cities willing to
    take the teams.
    Moving out of san diego was a mistake….the ratings will go back up as soon as
    weather gets colder (a proven fact)…..and all the teams are so close in records its hard to pick a favorite.
    Injuries also hurt…way too many and it hurts the talent pool.
    The NFL is going thru the same pains any huge corporation goes thru….they reach an artificial ceiliing and have to find ways to move higher.
    Look at odowds on plaza. They reached a ceiling…redid that place and menu and now it’s packed to the walls.
    So don’t count the nfl out yet…..the top 10 tv shows almost every week…..and with all you old guys going to bed at 9 you don’t get to see the whole game.
    I still love football and am a chiefs fan forever.

  9. Fake Name Guy says:

    Fantasy football.

    Stats are the only reason these folks bother with the NFL. No need to watch games.

    Al Capone’s seed money to provide a safe haven for gamblers following the Black Sox has peaked.

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