The embattled National Football League suffered another terrible setback this week, with television viewership for all three games down double-digits from the same time last season; leaving officials and owners wondering just how low can the ratings go.
Despite a stronger-than-average rating for the Pittsburgh Steelers head-to-head match-up with the New England Patriots, the much-watched game did little to help a disastrous 2017 season, marred by dozens of players “taking a knee” during the national anthem.
According to the New York Post, the ratings for the NFL’s three flagship games were down double-digits as the league entered its 15th week.
“‘Thursday Night Football’ was the week’s biggest loser, down 40 percent, despite being telecast on NBC and NFL Network — as well as streamed by Amazon,” writes the Post. “NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ and ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ also posted double-digit declines.”
“On ‘SNF,’ the Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Oakland Raiders drew a respectable 19.2 million viewers — but it was down 26 percent from last year,” the author adds. “On ‘MNF,’ the Atlanta Falcons beat the Buccaneers in a game won by a field goal. Yet viewership was down 16 percent from 2016’s Carolina Panthers-Washington Redskins game.”
AMERICAN HERO: Disabled Veteran REFUSES AWARD from 'Tainted' NFL Team
“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players’ disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation,” Wells said.
“I am unable, in good conscience, to enter an NFL stadium while this discourtesy prevails. Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it,” he added.
The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to “take a knee” during the performance of the US national anthem.
The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
BLIND SIDE: NFL 'Mega' Sponsor Suddenly Pulls Ads from League
The controversy surrounding the National Football League continued to take its toll on the organization’s beleaguered bottom-line on Wednesday, after a ‘mega’ sponsor decided to pull its advertisements from future games for the remainder of the season.
In response to player protests during the national anthem, the owner of a New Jersey ‘mega’ car dealership decided to pull its ads for the rest of the 2017 season, or until league officials and owners crackdown on political demonstrations during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
“The National Football League and its owners have shown their fans and marketing partners that they do not have a comprehensive policy to ensure that players stand and show respect for America and our flag during the playing of the national anthem,” said the owner of Flemington Car and Truck Company. “We have cancelled all of our NFL advertising on the Optimum and Infinity [cable] networks.”
“As the NFL parses the important nationwide issues of ‘social justice’ and ‘freedom of speech,’ it is clear that a firm direction by them is not forthcoming,” he added.
The NFL found itself in the midst of a media firestorm last month, following a string of player protests against the national anthem; prompting a steep decline in ticket sales, merchandise, and television viewership.