Ratings are down for the Sunday NFL pregame shows that air on each of the three major networks that air such programming every week, according to Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News.
"ESPN “Sunday Countdown” isn’t the only pregame show taking a hit in the ratings department. Through 10 weeks, both CBS’ “The NFL Today” and Fox’s “NFL Sunday” numbers are also down — more than ESPN.
CBS’ “The NFL Today” viewership is down 17% compared to a similar point last year while Fox’s pregame is down 15% from where it was last season. Like we said about ESPN, if the slide continues maybe the suits start thinking about tinkering with elements of these shows, including the cast."
Raissman does note that NFL Network's pregame program has seen ratings increase slightly this season, but that isn't close to enough to account for the drop-off ESPN, CBS and Fox have reportedly experienced.
Oddly, this is kind of nice to hear. It indicates that networks with NFL rights can't simply put the league's logo on terrible programming and still make a killing. It's been said that everything the NFL touches turns to gold, especially when it comes to television, but I think greater amounts of football fans are beginning to wise up to the fact that there's limited educational or entertainment value attached to these cookie-cutter shows, all of which lack substance and originality.
Frankly, it's been years since I've given a crap what talking heads like Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Keyshawn Johnson and Tom Jackson have to say. I'm just happy more of us are realizing how useless NFL pregame shows have become. NFL pregame shows across the board are little more than poor attempts at comedy shows (hello, Rob Riggle) with little fresh insight and actual football analysis.
The internet has been around for a while now, but as Twitter continues to grow and more football info — fantasy and/or reality — is reaching our fingertips, we're finding excuses to keep from turning on our televisions before 1:00 p.m. ET arrives each Sunday.
Good for us.