Shut Up and Play: Networks Could Lose $200 Million if NFL Ratings Slide Continues

Shut Up and Play: Networks Could Lose $200 Million if NFL Ratings Slide Continues

The NFL is suffering the repercussions of entering the political playing field – a place they have no business being. Sports fans are leaving the league in droves, and several recent polls and studies show that political activism accounts for a big reason why.

Breitbart reports:

After ratings for Week Two crashed, adding to the angst already felt by a poor showing in Week 1, industry insiders and analysts are sounding the alarm.

A new report claims that CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC could take a $200 million hit to their estimated $2.5 billion in NFL advertising earnings if fans continue to turn off the TV, the The Hollywood Reporter noted recently.

The worries over earnings are not allayed by the fact that this season’s Week Two is the lowest mark for CBS since 1998. And the first two games of the season are down double-digits at a multi-year low compared to last year.

Guggenheim Securities analyst Michael Morris told THR that he had hoped the 2017 season would be better than last year, but admitted that “early results do not support this optimism.”

“Since the NFL season opened Sept. 7, shares of NBC parent Comcast are off 9 percent, ESPN parent Disney has seen its stock drop 3 percent and shares of CBS are down 5 percent,” THR wrote. “Only shares of 21st Century Fox have risen in that time frame, up 2 percent.”

Not only do analysts see a fall in ad revenue, but this decline may also result in falling stock prices for the networks.

Still, despite the declines, analysts also note that the NFL is TV’s biggest draw. However, as customer media consumption trends change, the NFL’s favored nation status among smaller quantities of viewers, may not be enough to stave off severe belt-tightening.

“Since the NFL season opened Sept. 7, shares of NBC parent Comcast are off 9 percent, ESPN parent Disney has seen its stock drop 3 percent and shares of CBS are down 5 percent,” THR wrote. “Only shares of 21st Century Fox have risen in that time frame, up 2 percent.”

In a poll last year, 44% of fans said they would stop watching the NFL if protests against the national anthem continued. In addition, a J.D. Power survey showed fans citing the anthem protests as the main reason they stopped watching NFL games.

If newscasters keep making derogatory remarks against President Trump, and players keep ‘taking a knee’ to the national anthem, American patriots are going to keep tuning them out.

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