The NFL is not just losing white viewers. The NFL isn’t just losing black viewers. No, the NFL is hemorrhaging viewers of all races and ages, and they’re doing so at a frightening pace.
With the NFL’s Week 4 in the rear-view mirror, a review of TV ratings through the league’s first month show that the NFL has lost millions of viewers year-over-year, a decline that has picked up speed so far this year. As Awful Announcing recently put it, “It seems everyone is mad at the NFL.”
Overall, viewership is down seven percent over 2016, which is bad enough for the league. However, this year’s slippage is not the first. Indeed, 2016 — the year of the first national anthem protests — saw a nine percent decline over 2015.
With TV viewers still leaving the NFL in droves, the continued drop in viewers puts an ignominious end to last year’s claim that the decline for the 2016 season was likely temporary and was only due to people spending more time watching the 2016 presidential election cycle. This year’s decline seems to clearly prove that there is far more to the higher number of people turning away from football than just the temporary diversion of an election cycle.