NFL Viewership on the Downside?

NFL Viewership on the Downside?

It seems everyone including the President of the United States has seen fit to weigh in on the NFL’s TV ratings decline. Despite losing nine percent of its year ago audience, NFL has continued to cast a long shadow over the media industry.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, NFL games accounted for nearly three quarters of the most watched programs on TV. This was actually an increase compared to 2016. In addition, the number of Millennials and Generation X watching NFL actually increased from year prior. Looking further into the data, the ratings decline was due to the number of games watched and the minutes watched per game. Some could say NFL isn’t losing fans, they are just fighting against shorter attention spans.

With the media industry ever shifting, both older and new age generations are jumping on the streaming bandwagon. Today, virtually everyone has a smartphone and with those smartphones they are using a streaming service and/or a video on demand subscription. NFL’s recent agreement with Amazon to renew streaming Thursday Night Football, can help attest to this. In addition, smartphone and multimedia device users can watch games on the NFL app, Yahoo Sport app, CBS All Access, DirectTV Now, Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.

It is true that people are watching less TV and the coined phase “cutting the cord” is being used more and more often, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t more innovative ways to keep viewers engaged. With the average person spending three hours on their smartphone or multimedia device per day, streaming may just be exactly where NFL needs to be.

Sources:
– https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2017/10/18/gains-streaming-audience-offers-hope-flagging-nfl-ratings/774894001/

– https://www.recode.net/2018/4/26/17287060/nfl-amazon-streaming-thursday-night-games-new-deal-2018-2019-prime-twitch

– https://www.recode.net/2017/5/1/15386694/nfl-live-stream-amazon-prime-thursday-night-football-ratings

– https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/media-and-entertainment/our-insights/we-are-wrong-about-millennial-sports-fans