NFL shield

The NFL is really hoping that once the Presidential votes are all counted, the focus of the nation will go back to football. Once again, overnight ratings for the NFL’s primetime showcase are down significantly from last year. For the Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders Sunday Night Football game on NBC, the Peacock had some good news/bad for the overnights. The good news is that the game won the night against primetime competition:

Ok, that’s good, right? Well, not so fast, The 11.7 number is down 20% from last year’s Philadelphia-Dallas game which registered a 14.7 overnight. Making matters worse, Sports Media Watch notes that this is the lowest-rated SNF Week 9 game dating back to 2011 when Indianapolis-Houston registered an 11.4 overnight.

And adding insult to injury, Fox’s Week 9 regional window which sent Cowboys-Browns to  about one-third of the country received a 12.4 overnight rating. It was down 9% from last year’s Week 9 Fox regional window, but beat SNF.

The key here is that the ratings continue to average lower numbers from last year. Whether it’s the election, bad matchups, poorly officiated games, lower viewership among women, anger over anthem protests, warmer weather in normally cold weather markets, concussions, domestic violence or cord cutting, the NFL is experiencing a lower viewership than in previous years.

It continues to have officials inside the league offices scratching their heads. And while the conventional wisdom has ratings rising once the election is over, one wonders if they’ll actually break even this year or if the numbers are too low to catch up. We’ll find out in Week 10.

[Sports Media Watch 1, 2]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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