It seems like everyone is mad at the NFL, whether you are young and old, male or female, and just about any ethnic identity you could think of. Pick a reason – game quality, protests during the national anthem, support for exiled quarterbacks, support for the President – and it will likely be used as someone’s cause for tuning away from the league this season.

Because we’re all just grasping at straws a bit, it’s important to get an honest look at the NFL’s television viewership through the first four full weeks of this season, to go beyond P.R. puffery and media punditry. Compared to past ratings analysis, this quarter-season deep dive moves away from the traditional ad sales demos (adults aged 18-49 and 25-54) due to the overlap of the two age groups. Instead, these are snapshots of ages 18-34, 35-54 and 55+. While youth viewership has also been impacted by some of the same issues, children’s viewing habits are largely shaped through the prism of their parents and guardians.

Once again, NFL Network is excluded from the analysis due to its smaller distribution footprint and partnerships with CBS and NBC, who have much larger viewer totals.

Through the first four weeks, the average NFL telecast among the measured networks was watched by 15.79 million viewers, which is still quite a large amount, but down 7% versus the same period in 2016 where the average game was viewed by 16.96 million people. The decline was a little steeper between 2015 and 2016 where the average game slipped by 9%.

While many tried to pin the ’16 drops on coverage of the presidential election, it was a volatile hurricane season that had a direct impact on the Gulf Coast markets in early September. (Certainly the loss of life and property damage is more important than ratings, even to Nielsen itself.) Yet, for those still exploring the Election Day theory, the first four weeks of the 2013 season were 5% better than 2012.

Source: Nielsen Media Research; 2015-17 NFL regular seasons through Week 4; Live+Same Day, nationally-televised broadcasts only (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN – Excluding NFL Network).

Fascinatingly enough, the declines over the last two years with Adults 18-34 mirror each other whereas moving into the older sets saw smaller, but still notable declines. The usual suspects play prominent roles – cord-cutting, legal streaming services, illegal streams, non-sports programming – but one can never ignore the steady drum of controversies diminishing fan interest or even the shifting habits of casual sports fans who aren’t exactly excited to watch Mike Glennon.

However, as we are well aware of with recent events, the intersection of race, politics and sports has been hard to escape, no matter how hard people may try. With President Donald Trump throwing fuel into the fire with his comments about NFL players protesting during the national anthem – to continue with his railing against free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick – it’s worth examining viewership from an ethnic point of view.

Source: Nielsen Media Research; 2015-17 NFL regular seasons through Week 4; Live+Same Day, nationally-televised broadcasts only (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN – Excluding NFL Network).

Per usual with measuring based on ethnicity, Asian viewers tend to show the wildest year-to-year swings due to their smaller numbers versus other ethnic groups. Yet the upticks with women above 35 (39,000) could very well be responsible for the 3% rise in total Asian NFL viewers versus the same period in 2016. The ethnic group is still down by over 100,000 total viewers from 2015 – from 752,000 two years ago to 621,000 in 2016 and now, 639,000 in 2017.

Source: Nielsen Media Research; 2015-17 NFL regular seasons through Week 4; Live+Same Day, nationally-televised broadcasts only (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN – Excluding NFL Network).

Latinx NFL viewers have shown some slippage, save for the relatively unchanged 55+ and women between ages 35-54. Breaking down the 18-34 set further, the drops can be attributed to seeing a steep 27% drop among 18-24 year-old Latino men and a 16% fall with 25-34 year old Latina women. Even with some positives for the league among Latina women – 18-24 (+11%), 35-54 (+6%) and 65+ (+10%) – they don’t make up for the overall decline among all Latinx. However, it is important to note that many fans watch sports on Spanish-language networks, which are not included in this analysis, but have substantial ratings that rival English-language channels quite often.

Source: Nielsen Media Research; 2015-17 NFL regular seasons through Week 4; Live+Same Day, nationally-televised broadcasts only (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN – Excluding NFL Network).

An offseason storyline that grew in prominence among sports and news media was the talk of a TV boycott, or to borrow the hashtag, #NFLBlackout, among the league’s African-American fan base. Debates about its viability have raged on and offline, as well within and around the black community. You may feel free to argue its effectiveness, but the reality is that there have been across-the-board declines, with some more pronounced than others.

There has actually been a largely across-the-board falloff since 2014, yet the percentage drops among all black viewers have doubled with each passing year. After a 2014 peak of 2.93 million black viewers, 2015 saw a 2% decline (2.88M), followed by a 4% decrease in 2016 (2.76M) and this year’s nearly 8% drop (2.55M). Regardless of gender, black viewership has dropped across all major age breaks, though the nominal declines with older NFL fans would be considered flat in industry parlance. Among total viewers, only white NFL fans (-7.74%) have shown a bigger year-to-year drop through the first four weeks than black NFL fans (-7.71%).

As previously examined prior to the start of the season, the real impact of any potential TV boycott would be tested by black fans over 55. Black men of that age group have barely budged, yet black women – who have decreased in all ages by 11%, with 110,000 fewer viewers versus 2016 – have tuned out thus far to a 6% clip. Black viewers under 35, including kids under 17, continue to tumble as the average NFL game was viewed by 18% fewer fans compared to last year, a total of 132,000 viewers.

Source: Nielsen Media Research; 2015-17 NFL regular seasons through Week 4; Live+Same Day, nationally-televised broadcasts only (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN – Excluding NFL Network).

With white Americans being the majority, it’s natural that white viewers make up the majority of not only TV viewership, but NFL fandom. It’s also because of that largesse that though never openly discussed, any changes here will cause the most consternation among observers. After losing 10% of all white viewers in the first four weeks of 2016 versus 2015, the NFL saw an 8% drop to start this season. So far, 11.71 million viewers have turned on a NFL game on average versus last season’s 12.69 million. The 2015 season saw 14.18 million white TV viewers for the same time period. Every observed age group for both genders has shown decreases.

Where it’s somewhat of a challenge to fully credit the #NFLBlackout for the drops with black fans, it could be a similar challenge to credit President Trump’s call to his predominantly white voters to boycott the league here. The declines among white viewers were bigger a year ago, but even those would be difficult to attribute to Trump appealing to his base after his first comments about Kaepernick’s protest during that preseason. Yes, there were calls from conservatives to boycott the league when some players joined Kaepernick’s protest, but there were also pretty angry Patriots fans considering the same charge due to Deflategate.

However, networks made a concerted effort to broadcast the national anthem – normally a pregame ceremony not seen on TV other than for the Super Bowl – so far in 2017 after the President’s comments. Where the boycott calls might have had disputed effectiveness in 2016, it’s certainly possible that there could have been something to them this season. How much depends on who you talk to, but there’s still the undeniable factor that the NFL has an on-field product that’s sorely lacking from coast to coast, and even across the pond in two London games.

As the weather turns colder in the fall, NFL ratings, like many other television programs, should go up as always thanks to TV usage increasing with more people staying indoors. Yet this look at the first four weeks of games has told us a bit about the sporting public’s collective feelings towards the league. Right now, it really seems as if everyone’s mad at the National Football League.

  • Real Talk

    For me I watch bits by bits online, can’t watch anything live with commercials anymore

  • Carl LaFong

    By this reasoning, the public must REALLY be mad at the networks primetime shows this season…

  • Hammertime

    People are a hell of a lot angrier at Trump and the federal government than they are at football. Trump is the most hated President since Lincoln.

    • Skippity

      BS, Trump’s ratings are up while the NFL continues its downward spiral!

    • Steve_o

      Trump approval rating at 45%, which was about Obama’s average.

      • DGB23

        And Hillary was supposed to win by a huge margin. Polls are for sheep.

    • Douglas Groetzinger

      Trump’s most recent approval rating stood at 39 percent which is a new low for a President at this point. The prior low was 48 percent for Bill Clinton in 1993. Obama’s rating at this point was 53 percent. The last paragraph covers this:

      • Dunecat2000

        Looks like it is up today from 45% to 46% now per Rasmussen.

      • Skippity

        Rasmussen is a real polling org, not a Left Wing Fake News org like newsweek. Sorry to disappoint and trigger your TDS.

        • Shame Hannity

          “..but Trump’s ratings are on heading upward.” LMFAO!!! The latest AP poll has the President at a record low 32%. And it will continue to spiral downward to about 25%, which is roughly the percentage of his hard-core supporters.

          • Skippity

            Keep believing your Leftist sources. The same ones that said Trump had no chance and Hillary was a shoo-in. I for one will be “LMFAO!!!” when Trump wins reelection. You lefties never learn!

          • Hammertime

            In what way is AP leftist? I thought they were a for-profit enterprise.

          • Shame Hannity

            Hammertime, these far-right nut jobs have been brainwashed into getting their “news” from Breitbart and Infowars. It’s embarrassing to hear people refer to AP as “leftist”. Heck, I’m a Moderate Independent myself. SMH

          • I love it. Guy has an avi of a person he clearly hates, screaming that he’s an Independent (LOL right) and calling other people nutjobs. Satire on another level provided by the retarded left.

          • Shame Hannity

            Hey DJ Dipstick-My avi picture doesn’t show your man in the best light. I’m clearly mocking him. But you’re clearing an unitelligent Trump voter, so you don’t get it. Now run along and watch Tucker….

          • Hahaha. You’re a fucking loser. SAD!

          • Footballfan

            Looks like you mock everyone with high ratings. Idiot

          • Skippity

            Read em and weep Ladies! Enjoy the next 7 years of Trump – MAGA!

          • Shame Hannity

            Thanks, Skippy!! Fox News, a trusted and reliable source…..!!! LMAO!!!

          • Footballfan

            Hey, Hillary had a lot of people at her inauguration….oh wait……LMFAO

          • mothman1967 .

            Yes, it’s true that MSM polls show Trump soooo low. These are the same pollsters who know it would be a landslide win for Billary. Perhaps you should consider the results of independent polling organizations, such as Rasmussen, to get an accurate number. Oh, wait…the result, in that case, aren’t to your liking.

          • Footballfan

            Not quite snowflake. As Hannity also crushes the he/she on MSNBC daily

      • Polls that average 50% Democrats from angry, lying MSM. I wonder why his approval ratings are so low, yet he hasn’t lost a runoff election yet.

      • the deplorable john doe

        You are so full of crap. Only fools believe polls. Trump is north of 55% but the lying msm get used to him for the next 7.5 years FOOL.

        • Hammertime

          Under 40% actually.

          • the deplorable john doe

            Hey loooooooooooooooooooser. Watch him rule for another 7.5 years. Then after the swamp is drained even morons like you will benefit.

          • Shame Hannity

            Oh yeah, he’s really draining the swamp, if that’s what you call hiring and firing members of his own cabinet. Sometimes you just an’t fix stupid. Thankfully, he’ll be gone in 3.5 years, if we make it that long….

          • the deplorable john doe

            Listen fool, it took morons like you decades to screw up dc. It will take a few years to empty the swamp of looooooooooooooooooooooooosers like you.

          • Footballfan

            Now i have proof you’re an idiot

        • Golbalview

          Need proof, same genius pollsters says hillary would easily win upper midwest states some by 9 % all the way until election day. They need to stop using CNN viewers (all 4 million of them) in their polls.

      • Son of Rusty Shackleford

        Ah yes, Newsweak. Once a respected journal, sold for a dollar. One. Lousy. Dollar.

      • Footballfan

        Try 45% idiot

    • rosetta_stoned

      You do know this anthem thing started under President Boyfriend, right?
      Look at the numbers from last season and then see them continue to crater.

      All Trump did was point out the traitors.

      • Hammertime

        Funny, all these traitors and no treason charges laid. Do you know what treason is?

        • Footballfan

          Do you know what being a pussy is? Pussy

    • the deplorable john doe

      Just another lib looooooooooooooser who isn’t keeping up with current events. He’s way more popular than obozo was at this time in his corrupt admin.

    • lily201

      See, this is exactly the kind of shit we don’t want mixed into watching and supporting the NFL.

    • Footballfan

      No, they are not. The Presidents ratings are far higher than the nfl, idiot.

    • Geoff Snyder

      Come on. You’re the problem right there. Your statement that is the most hated President is already wrong headed. He got there with a TON of votes. And I would not be surprised if he gets a second term.

      You need to be honest with the facts. You look like all feeling.

  • Amber Puga

    I personally rather watch Red Zone than the actual game if it is not the Cowboys.

  • Joseph Aubele

    Good analysis, but to echo a couple of other here, what about the Red Zone Factor? I will watch a traditional broadcast when my team plays, but otherwise I am watching RZ.

  • Shame Hannity

    In addition to the factors you mentioned, at some point, ratings were going to come down. They could not continue their upward spiral. Ratings peaked, and now they are going to settle in. I also think that over saturation is a problem. Remember when “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” was on once a week? It was must see T.V. Three times a week, not so much. The NFL needs to can Thursday Night Football.

    • Isabella Lopez

      If you are saying over saturation is the reason, I tend to think that may be a bit or a reach. 10% and 7% seem to be much more than just settling in.

      • Shame Hannity

        I didn’t say it was the sole reason, I said it is part of the problem. I love football, especially college, but I can’t watch 6-7 games from Thursday night through Monday night. Maybe 3-4, max. Again, whatever goes up must come down at some point. I believe that’s what we are seeing with the NFL ratings. That and poor QB play……

    • Bobbloggerstein

      They should limit the Thursday night games to the first week of the season. Play the two Thanksgiving games per tradition and then have two Saturday games on week’s 15 and 16. I like the idea that everyone plays on the final Sunday of week 17. The quality of play on Thursday night is pretty poor and the matchups are less than appealing.

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    No mention of PUT declines?

  • DGB23

    Pro Sports are a place for sports, not politics. While politics is playing a part, the fact that most people cant watch their team play is the biggest one IMO. With all of the cord cutting I would imagine Sunday ticket subs are way down and since you cant get Sunday ticket without DTV if you live in a market that has access to it you are screwed. If the NFL wants to increase revenue and viewership they will need to make all games available to anyone and get out of politics. Either create your own service and charge per team or get with all of the streaming and cable providers and start offering team based packages.

  • Godels Proof

    The NFL should be about entertainment.

    • Pacemaker4

      yep..get rid of the anthem, fly overs, honour guards and the frikin pink breast cancer stuff.
      Just football please.

      • inku palios

        Did you know that the Pentagon pays for the NFL to do the flyovers & the national anthem?

        • Pacemaker4

          the anthem was way before..but yeah, the pentagon has paid millions each year for it.
          Reminds me of rallies in Berlin…. forced patriotism during unfounded wars of aggression.

          • Godels Proof

            Rallies in Berlin?

          • Pacemaker4

            Why does the gov care what happens at a sporting event?
            We care about the socks a guy wears in a practice?
            The whole thing is as weak an argument as you can get.
            Enjoy your civil war….just a matter of time.
            AIPAC controls your Congress ~95% ..but youre worried about left right issues. Hehe.

          • Godels Proof

            Ah, a soft anti-semite.

            Ironic you would call someone out for the wrong issues.

          • Pacemaker4

            Again, so you care more about the socks worn in a practice?
            Why does the gov care what happens at a sporting event?

            keep trying to deflect from that topic.

          • Godels Proof

            Why does the government care about a lot of things they shouldn’t

            If your on that subject the government putting their nose into our lived by asking football players to respect our country’s flag , well sorry that is WAY down the list of items to be concerned about

          • Anton Friendo

            people too lazy for civil war
            unless you take away their free stuff
            Democrat plantation

          • jaydeebee

            Because the NFL gets huge tax breaks–from local and state governments, too. They’re in bed together.

          • krehlaw7204

            Yea, right.

          • krehlaw7204

            Yea, right. Of course we much prefer cynicism to celebration in this “Nazi” country

          • Pacemaker4

            Why did they cover up the Pat Tillman death to the family? Respect is earned…

        • Godels Proof

          Stop that…………NOW.

      • Godels Proof

        While were at it the Military should get rid of all the NFL gear, logo’s or anything associated with the NFL by the Military.

        Just killing and destroying things please.

        • Pacemaker4

          pfft..never seen NFL gear worn by military fighting. Thats your argument?
          whats the difference between patriotism and nationalism?
          Give a think to that.

          • Godels Proof

            What do you call someone who is ashamed of everything his country has done?

          • Pacemaker4

            a realist?

          • Billy Vegas

            nope. try again.

          • Pacemaker4

            did your buddy Godel give up? keep trying little troll.

          • Billy Vegas

            Says the angry little twerp that blames America because he thinks it makes him edgy. You live with your mommy, dont you?

          • Pacemaker4

            poor yank. ad hominem deflecting from facts.
            didnt even read my profile.

          • Billy Vegas

            It makes me think you are even more pathetic. just an angry cannuckafuk raging at americans.

            Do the world a solid, go down to your garage, dont open the door, start your mommy’s Volvo and stay there till you go to sleep.

          • Pacemaker4

            hehe listen to the little one cry…lol
            50+ here.. an semi retired. Go join up and learn some sht.

          • Billy Vegas

            that is even more embarrassing. 50+ and whining about the US…

            semi-retried= liberal for living off of taxpayers

          • Godels Proof

            A realist?

            Whose reality?

            Howard Zinm or Noam Chomsky?

          • Footballfan

            A pussy… you

      • GLL

        One month of pink uniforms, what could possibly go wrong? The NFL quitely did away with that mandate this year, so it will be interesting to see if they trot out the pink wussification of their product this year given the current PR nightmare they have waded into.

      • Rick Brohmer

        You think by doing that the players won’t be protesting in another manner? Please!

        • Pacemaker4

          maybe…maybe. But lets find out ! paid patriotism isnt the way it should be, right?

  • Pacemaker4

    Cord cutting isnt factored in? so the numbers are bs.

    • rosetta_stoned

      Ever wonder WHY some people are cutting the cord?

      I know of several people who were on the fence, and this latest stunt sealed the deal.

      • Pacemaker4

        we’re talking about moving from cable to internet stream..
        I havent watched NFL on TV for 3 yrs !
        No commercials…just watch the condensed games.

  • rosetta_stoned

    Count me among those who turned off the NFL last season. I thought, “Let’s see if they get this anthem thing under control and maybe I’ll come back.”

    Nope. They decided to double down.

    Haven’t watched a minute of the NFL since Super Bowl 50, and that’s the way it’s going to be until I’m pushing up daisies.

    They can choke on it. I’ve got better things to do.

  • CrRhino

    This had to be. Other networks “reporting” otherwise but 80% of all the people l know have flushed the National Felons League. “The customer is always right”. Duh.

  • I’m not watching. The game isn’t interesting enough in 2017 to make me support a bunch of race-baiting, anti-American children and their billionaire coward owners.

    • GLL

      I was sick one Sunday, watched 3 NFL games in a row. It was like going to the dentist between commercials and reviews and constant play stoppage from flags. They have destroyed the product. It is not worth watching, even if you skip the commercials.

      • Will Cline

        Yeah, I had gotten where I would DVR the game then about three quaters of the way through the game would start watching and zap the commercial and all the stupid stuff like replay analysis which is really really useless. It is a game, the refs make mistakes but so do the players and coaches, play the game. I think the replays in all sports is more or less a waste with the exception of photo finishes in a horse race, that makes a little sense, otherwise just play the game.

        • jaydeebee

          I don’t mind if it’s a really close call or something spectacular, but they should be rare.

  • scottyz

    Decided not to watch NFL this season. Its about the protests for the anthem plain and simple.
    Glad we live in a nation that allows for stretching sitting kneeling or standing on your head through the anthem but I dont have to like people doing thise disrespectful things.
    The protests are nothing more than grandstanding. Notice no one is talking about the cause. People talk about the players.
    The action is misguided at best and nothing but grandstanding at its worst.
    In college ball Allstate contributes to a general scholarship fund for extra points and field goals made. The NFL and the NFLPA could do the same thing and purchase some body cams for some cops in the teams markets. Cops and citizens would both be mafe safer and the issue would be addressed in a concrete way. But its easier to take a knee and make sure the camera angles clean up the mess.
    I hope the advertisers enjoy spending their money on a deflated product.
    For its #NFLblackout

  • Paul D

    So when a court officers says all rise when the judge is entering the court room you dont have to everyone just sit there…. its called respect… Just like with oir national anthem respect..cant blame some people blame the up bridging..shame on them

  • Jcrex

    It was telling how ignorant/arrogant the players were in greenbay when they asked the crowd to join in the protest. They thought if aaron rodgers asked them they would fall in line. No. We care about a white mans politics about the same as a black man. Zero.

    In sports race , gender, religion shouldn’t matter or be a focus. An arena is a place where everyone stands together and is wearing the same team colors. This is going to blow up in the nfl/NBA big time. People are just used to watching sports but it’s easy to find something else to do with your time

  • John Smith

    I read a great quote from somewhere, it went like this. “How about all the military service members take a knee while the NFL goes off to defend their freedom?”

    • Footballfan

      Love it. Except that group of nfl losers couldn’t find their ass with a map. They will all be in jail, on drugs, homeless or dead in a few years. Good riddance

  • Master_Rabbit

    Who would have thought the NFL would end up ruining football.

  • Dan Ashley

    There is only two professions that kneel at work that I know about. One of those two are religious priests.

  • GLL

    The SJW CEO (Roger Goodell) weaponized his company for political activism. Next thing he knows, his company turns into a dumpster fire. CEO then called the SJW hotline to ESPN and was reassured to double down and all was well from a company that has lost 12 million subscribers in six years. This is the definition of stuck on stupid. Goodell should be fired ASAP, the NFL should make a formal public apology, and ESPN should be ignored.

  • Michael Donahue

    Goodell is worthless. He will ultimately destroy the NFL. The players need to wake up or they will kill the sport. How about focusing on CTE instead of worrying about Trump. The smartest thing the players could do is fire Demaurice Smith. He and Goodell couldn’t agree on what to order for lunch. MLB and NFL have their act together. NFL is heading toward fringe sport status.

  • Michael Donahue

    Should have said hockey has their act together definitely not NFL. Why doesn’t Goodell donate some of his $38 million salary to help investigate causes of CTE. Oh I forgot he is too busy trying to suspend the only players worth watching. What purpose does he serve??

  • sportsfan365

    I blame global warming. The weather has been too good to waste a Sunday sitting in front of the boob tube.

  • oneblast

    Cord cutting, and the protests are not distinct variables. That’s a foolish way of thinking.

    Perhaps people cut the cord BECAUSE of the politics? Like me, I’m 27 so I watch most everything online but I have cable to watch NFL. Everything else on cable is sub prime entertainment and there’s a lot more stuff online. But with the off putting politics of the NFL it no longer competes for my time so I’ve cancelled cable. People cut the cord for a number of reasons.

  • Steve

    Repeal the Sports Broadcasting Act. Get this crap off the public airwaves

  • Will Cline

    The NFL and the networks are going to learn a difficult lesson. It will not take a fifty percent drop in viewership to decimate the NFL revenues as well as the networks broadcasting the games. The networks commited to pay the league based on past viewership, now the advertisers will begin paying less and less. Also, with cord cutting networks like ESPN are going to get decimated by the drop in viewers. The next network contract negotiations are going to be a blood bath for the NFL and the players. There are significant fixed costs in these contracts and the NFL and players are going to have to make up for the revenue losses by cutting profits and cutting salaries. And it clearly will not be a drop equivalent to the loss in viewer it will be much greater because of the fixed costs of broadcasting and overhead for seeking advertisers. The value of teams could be cut by more than 50% and players salaries could also be cut that amount for a 25% loss in viewers. It is going to get very ugly very fast.

    • Geoff Snyder

      I like your line of thinking and just noting how this will work. I don’t know a lot about it but the lower salaries will be the time when these complete moron players will connect their pay with their actions. Unfortunately like a dog if the punishment comes to late they won’t make the connection.
      But when do the contracts get renegotiated? Can a normal joe like me see the details of the contracts? How long are the agreements for? Could an advertiser opt out of a 4 year contract for example if the viewership drops like it is now? If I ran Ford or Pepsi commercials I would be looking for a way out or for a huge price reduction. today and not waiting for a year or two.

      The fixed costs are interesting. How does the math work – the 20% drop in viewership equates to ??? 20, 30, 40 percent drop in contract values?

      Also yes I don’t watch NFL games any more.

      • Will Cline

        Geoff, I have never purchased TV advertising only print advertising, but for advertisers you basically pay for the number of readers or viewers. I think TV advertising is more real time an dynamic as far as what you pay so any show you pay for the real number of viewers but I may be mistaken. But advertisers are only going to pay for the real number of viewer whether it is adjusted by week or by month. That means that networks have commited to sports contracts on a much longer time frame maybe two to four years at least. I am sure there are some stipulations in those contract that give them some opportunity to adjust in significant changes in the situation. But to the best of my knowledge the only variables in player contracts are for performance of the player not based on TV viewership or short term TV revenue, if someone else knows better I would be interested ot hear about it.

        So what that means is that if you know your football teams fixed costs such as coaching staff, player salaries, stadium and practice facility costs and other team costs like travel and league shared costs those are your fixed costs. Then when you look at your revenue you know which are fairly gauranteed and which will vary. You have gate receipts which are close to fixed but not a major source of revenue, then you have your share of TV revenues which in the short term are fixed but in the mid to long term are your biggest source and most variable source of revenue. If those revenue change significantly then you are going to have some big issues because your fixed costs are fixed for the longer term. By the time the TV revenues have been impacted you will already be in the hole and will not be able to adjust your fixed costs until player contracts can be changed. So your profitability can be impacted by 50% to 75% before you can take action. Your team’s value will go down by at least that much and the players salary as well will go down by similar amounts. Probably a similar amount of teams, over 50% will become unprofitable and some will have to fold. Then there are the other factors working against the NFL like far fewer young people are playing football. That means that your future audience is not looking very good either. And your liability for players suffering CTE is only going to grow as well. I would not bet on the future of the NFL myself. I hope this has provided you with some of my insight into the future of the NFL.

  • Jim

    i’ve had NFL sunday ticket for the last 8 years and I canceled last week. Sports has always been about breaking away from the stresses of everyday life and tragedy. Do we not remember how sports helped heal the country after the 9/11 attacks? Now, these privileged, spoiled millionaires are kneeling during the anthem for social injustice. If you feel that badly for social injustice, how about going to the inner cities, meeting with local leaders, meeting with police and coming up with a SOLUTION to the problem of gangs, police brutality and even changing the laws of the country? No. You want to kneel during the anthem. I hear all the time about how they disrepect the military by doing that. No, it’s more about the military. The military are a great part of the country but when you kneel, you disrespect EVERYONE in the country. All the people that have fought and died for representing and defending our freedom. You disrespect OUR WAY OF LIFE.

    I’ve lived in other countries, maybe 8 or 9 and some of things that we are dismayed or disagree here is NOTHING compared to what happens in other 3rd or 1st world country. I lived in Greece, which is a 1st world euro country. They have piles of garbage everywhere. Because they don’t have the money to pick it up and dispose of it. When I asked someone how to get to the hospital, they told me, “Make a right at the small pile of garbage and pass 3 larger piles of garbage and when you get to the big/huge pile of garbage, make a left.” When I got to the hospital to see my mother in law, they don’t have any soap in the hospital! They don’t have doctors either, unless you bribe someone so that the Dr comes out and sees the patient. Completely unsanitary! And they have bed bugs everywhere, so much that I had to throw out every single article of clothing when I got back to the USA. Don’t want to mention what happened when I lived in Dominican Republic or Suriname. I kiss the floor at JFK airport whenever I got back.

    and you tell me that living here is that bad? so bad that you disrespect the flag? GIVE ME A BREAK.

  • Jeffrey Angel

    not watching this year, no matter what they do

  • Stephen Marsh

    I just don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to pay $500 or more for a decent seat, get gouged from the second they step on the stadium property to the time they leave (let’s not forget who paid for that beautiful stadium to be built),only to be captive observers of a bunch of young multi-millionaires forcing their radicalized political opinions on you by casting shame on something you hold dear. I will not be watching until every one of the 200+ players who kneeled are out of the league. PERIOD. And I know who they are. I may not watch regardless. NFL=NOT FOR LONG

  • Alfredo Huerta

    Do you say whitex? blackx? asianx? It’s latino, latin or hispanic.

    • Justus Washington

      It’s European American not white how would you like being referred to as brown?

  • Roger Shrubber

    I may be in the minority…casual NFL fan for over 30 years…but did watch more as the season progressed…and especially the playoffs…..I have watched ZERO games since Kaepernick pulled his stunt last year….and I have no plans to return.

  • Koko Banes

    I gave up football this year. I’m glad I did it.

    I remember announcer’s happy face in days gone by when they’d announce “Nothing, but nothing shakes the confidence of the NFL Viewer.” I’m doing other things on Sunday. My wife loves it. I love it. And when I flip by a game and watch it for a few moments, it’s like looking at a woman’s tennis match … good to watch for a few moments, but nothing to hang your hat on.

    Football has gone limp. Politics can do that to you.

  • Rick

    The games have been so boring lately, the packer game was exciting, but it’s just not that fun to watch right now and with the political crap, makes it even worse, you can only stay on top so long, the market has changed

  • Bob Abuoy

    No one on their deathbed will look back and think:

    “dang man, I’m glad I got fat, dumb and wasted epic amounts of time watching meaningless BS like the NFL on TV.”

    That aint livin’.

    I think the jackasses protesting the National Anthem did many folks a favor by getting them to turn off the BS.

  • dmkc1207

    Count me as another lifelong fan that has thrown in the towel..I’ve had enough..I’ll find better things to do with my Sundays..No more rooting for egotistical,me-first show-boaters that want to push a social agenda in the place of escapist entertainment..The NFL has become unwatchable, bonehead analysts, many of them former criminals spouting whatever blather pops into their head for fear of 3 seconds of silence, promoting the infantile actions on the field which then become tonights “highlights” in slow motion on ESPN, another outlet that is sinking into the sewer…You stole my fun..May you reap what you sow…See ya

  • jaydeebee

    Two reasons I quit watching: 1) Greed. You want me to pay $200 on top of my satellite bill to line your pockets for the “privilege” of watching a game in my own living room? Ain’t happening! I already pay for satellite radio and can listen to the live feed from New Orleans without the crappy commentary.
    2) Politics. I don’t give a rat’s furry backside what your politics are, who you voted for, what you think of Trump, etc. First, ESPN became confused and forgot that they aren’t MSNBC. Then, the players, led by a mediocre player who desprately needed attention, started a dumb–yes, I said it–protest against the American flag because of what a few city employees may or may not have done. Apparently, football players are not required to pass a basic civics class to graduate. I tune into be entertained, not lectured by whining children who live in ivory palaces.
    So, call me when greedy Godell is gone and you’re willing to show your product to the masses. And make sure that Kapernak and his pig socks are nowhere near the field and I’ll be back. In the meantime, I have better things to do.

  • Will Cline

    I guess the NFL and the players have not learned that in life you do not get do-overs. Once you make a mistake some consequences you must live like such as smaller audiences. I am no longer an NFL fan and I am pretty certain that is a permanent state. Even if the league decides the players must stand we will all know they are hypocrits and are only standing to stave off the loss of more and more fans. Goodbye NFL.

  • Michael Rose

    Its funny how this comment s3ction is over run with men who hate the NFL when in reality you are 10% of former viewers. You are in the extreme minority