Ratings for the 2018 NFL season kickoff took another dive, Thursday, as more sports fans quit their NFL habit.
Likely expecting more infuriating protests during the playing of the national anthem, the season opener game between the 2017 Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Atlanta Falcons fell to a ten-year low.
According to Sports Media Watch:
The Falcons-Eagles NFL Kickoff Game earned a 13.4 overnight rating on NBC, down 8% from Chiefs-Patriots last year (14.6), down 19% from Panthers-Broncos in 2016 (16.5) and the lowest for the season opener in ten years.
The 2008 Giants-Washington Kickoff Game, which moved up to 7 PM ET to accommodate the late John McCain‘s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, had a 10.1. Not counting the 2002 game on ESPN, overnights for which were unavailable, this year’s 13.4 overnight is the fifth-lowest in the history of the game (16 telecasts).
The Eagles’ win peaked a 14.8 from 9:30-9:45 PM ET, during the first quarter. The game began 45 minutes later than scheduled due to inclement weather. The last time the Kickoff Game was pushed back due to weather was 2013, when Ravens-Broncos delivered a 16.2.
And as Breitbart Sports reported:
NFL ratings have collapsed over the last two years. The league saw an approximate ten percent decline in 2017, and a seven percent decline in 2016. Perhaps not coincidentally, those two years were dominated by the anthem protests begun by former 49er Colin Kaepernick in the preseason of 2016.
As to the Eagles game, they managed to best Atlanta with an 18-12 final, but the game was less than scintillating. Indeed, the Eagles’ own fans booed the team on the field!
Meanwhile, the National Football League starts the season still without any solution to the national anthem protests that have enraged fans all across the country.
The league also faces three other huge hurdles that is contributing to its troubles.
One, it still faces criticism over its handling of the brain trauma (CTE) problem, two, it is facing a loss of TV fans in general as millennials stop watching cable and network TV in favor of getting their entertainment on their tablets and phones, and three, fewer new fans are growing up with football as fewer kids than ever are playing football in school.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.