The Affect of NFL Ratings

In light of the recent political stance that many NFL teams and players have chosen to make, television ratings for the games have dropped significantly.   In just the first two weeks, “the NFL saw a 4% drop from 2016’s week two in live and same-day average viewers of Sunday games, and a 14% drop in viewers for Monday Night Football, according to UBS. ”  (Lynch 2017)  “This season, the cost of a 30-second commercial will range from $300,000 to $700,000, depending on which time slot is being bought into, according to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily.” (via  However as ratings continue to drop, so will the cost and desire for these advertisements during NFL games.   Because the NFL games used to be such an effective and sought after platform for advertisers to get their brands to the public, they will also be losing money by not having the ability to reach such a broad and diverse audience at one time any longer.   In fact, it is expected that TV partners will lose close to 200 million if this declining trend continues.  (Ozanian 2017) Major companies also fear negative publicity due openly choosing to advertise during this very controversial movement.

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By any measure, the NFL is the most successful sports league in history.  Along with that, it is also the most-watched television program in history. (McFarlane, 2017)  This is the most detrimental part of this entire current political movement.  The NFL is almost entirely funded based on their television ratings and what advertisers are willing to pay to have their brand showcased during the majority of these games.  In February televisions’ largest, most expensive event is going to showcase: the Superbowl.  Surprisingly, in the past three years, Superbowl ratings have already started dropping.  (James, 2017)  super bowl views A great concern for the NFL is that these ratings will continue on their declining track, while also being even more negatively affected by the current political stances.  If ratings continue to decline up until the Superbowl, advertisements will not be as impactful during this showing as years before.  The Superbowl is the most sought-after advertising venue of all time.  Companys pay every year up to 5 million dollars for just 30 seconds of time to showcase their commercials.  Some people watch the Superbowl just for its commercials.

The overall question that the NFL is facing is “are these political stances really worth it?”  Americans have always been very passionate about football, but you know what Americans are even more passionate about?… America and they have responded very negatively to the recent movements made by the NFL and their players.  Will the NFL hold strong on their current political stance, or go back to simply just playing football?  This will determine whether the ratings will go back up, how much advertisers are willing to pay and the overall funding of the NFL.





Lynch, J. (2017, September 20). If the NFL’s ratings troubles continue, it could cost TV networks $200 million or more. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from

Ozanian, M. (2017, September 26). NFL Broadcasting Stocks Slump As Protests Rise And TV Ratings Fall. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from

McFarlane, G. (2017, June 07). Retrieved October 17, 2017, from

Battaglio, S., & James, M. (2017, February 06). Super Bowl’s TV ratings slip for the second straight year. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from

Gaines, C. (2016, September 07). It will cost up to $700,000 to air a 30-second commercial during the NFL regular season. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from