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NFL TV Ratings Dropping; Down 7.5 Percent in First Six Weeks of 2017

The NFL has been dealing with issues on and off the field since before the regular season kickoff of 2017, and today there was more bad news for the league, that being declining television ratings.

Here’s part of the story from Darren Rovell from ESPN on the ratings, and how the league is going to have to come up with a solution to the problem.

Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, total viewership of games is down 7.5 percent, compared with the first six weeks of 2016.

An average of 15 million people watched games for the first six weeks this year, compared with 16.2 million people through Week 6 last season, according to metrics from Nielsen.

An NFL spokesman didn’t immediately return a message from ESPN seeking comment.

In the past week, Credit Suisse lowered its price targets on both Fox and CBS stock, citing NFL ratings declines.

“If ratings don’t improve materially, we see a potential headwind to domestic advertising revenues,” the investment bank’s analyst Omar Sheikh wrote of Fox on Thursday.

On Monday, Sheikh estimated third-quarter revenue for CBS would be off 3 percent, versus the previously projected 1 percent, due to “soft ratings for both the summer [programming] and for the start of the NFL season.”

Through six weeks (seven games), ESPN’s Monday Night Football viewership is averaging 11.2 million viewers, a 6 percent increase through Week 6, compared with last year.

From players kneeling during the anthem, to players getting in trouble off the field, there’s been plenty of reason for fans to walk away from the league already in 2017, and it’s going to be up to the NFL to try and fix the problem – and quickly.

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