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NFL is in a Serious Slump: Sunday Night’s Game Had Lowest Rating in 5 Years

Bob Levey/Getty

Bob Levey/Getty

Hey there, football fans! The NFL needs your help. They’re slipping in viewership and need you to stay tuned and keep watching more football!

But isn’t the NFL still getting huge numbers? Correct! But this past Sunday’s game between the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Houston Texans received the smallest audience that Sunday night football has had for NBC in five years. Damn, this isn’t good news because each eyeball watching the Sunday night sport means more advertisement revenue (really big $$$).

What were the ratings for this record low night of NBC primetime football? This game reached 13.6 million viewers. Now, you may think, “Well, that’s a lot of viewers, so what exactly is the problem here?” Well, I’ll tell you what’s up. This knocked Sunday night football from its spots from near the top of the Nielsen company ratings. Last year, at the same time in week 6, the Patriots vs. the Colts scored 14.6 million in viewers, up 38 percent from the latest Cults vs. Texans game. And that’s not all, this entire season has been down 17 percent from when football ratings were soaring through the roof and at its very peak performance. But don’t look so down, NFL, you did great in the ratings with Thursday’s night game on CBS between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, securing a top spot in the cable ratings this week with 14.49 million viewers.

Though, I get it – Colts vs. Texans isn’t really a clash of the titans when it comes to pro league football. But that still doesn’t necessarily explain this overall slump, not just for the game, but for the season as well in terms of ratings. One suggestion is that people are way too caught up with the presidential race and simply put the NFL on the back burner. But still, you’d think people would need an escape from that over-the-top political circus and return to the gridiron of the football field as spectators, who block out the usual nonsense and enjoy a good show from the NFL.

But if the NFL’s ratings continue to take a downturn, and if they don’t meet with the numbers that they promised to advertisers than they may have to make concessions such as offering some free commercials. And if this slump is long term than you can expect the network to renegotiate the broadcast packages with the NFL, meaning less and less money for this sporting giant.

But the networks who house NFL (particularly NBC and CBS) shouldn’t be so revolted with this news of declining football ratings because overall CBS and NBC are doing spectacular! CBS, the home of Thursday Night Football won this week in the ratings for prime time television, taking in an average of 9.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, the home of Sunday Night Football NBC took in an average of 7.2 million, and won among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic that advertisers seek.

Even though the NFL appears to be on a downward spiral in ratings, that doesn’t mean that they’re not still hugely successful.  Thursday night’s game between the Broncos and the Chargers was the third most watched program this week.  And the game between the Colts and the Texans didn’t trail too far behind their Thursday night competition, coming in as the fifth most watched program on television in the week of October 10-16.

So, if you want to help out the NFL, all you have to do is pick up that remote!

  • COED Writer
    I've been sent out of college, with honors and such, on the search for the American Dream. I'm a New York native, filtering through the net for the next hit story. I'm a good bro, too. Check out my brother's art page: