The hype surrounding the Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump presidential debates are astounding. There was a time when Trump actually raised a complaint about the NFL scheduling games within the same time period as the debates, certain that the debates would lose out to football. However, you do not need to understand the NFL picks and odds to know that being particularity worried was probably a little premature.
The first presidential debate between these two candidates was a must-see event that broke records when it attracted an astounding 84 million viewers. And it pretty much edged out the NFL on that particular night. The second debate wasn’t nearly as popular; in fact, the ratings fell by 20%. However, the debate, none the less, pushed NFL TV ratings down even further, a precedence the league probably didn’t expect.
During the game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers, NBC noted a 10.2 overnight rating score. That’s a 22% drop from matchups in the same week. Some people are still discussing the fact that the 10.2 score marks SNF’s worst showing in three years when the Packers and Minnesota Vikings went up against the World Series.
The presidential debate definitely surprised a lot of people. Sure, the second round noted a drop in ratings, but both debates still garnered a combined 37.2 overnight rating. No one can deny the fact that they definitely affected the NFL’s own ratings and most definitely contributed to their decline; though some people have rejected the idea that the debates were as drastically impacted as suggested.
Sure, there was a lot of hype surrounding both presidential debates. However, the decline in the league’s ratings have become a stirring concern for a very long time. This isn’t the first time the NFL has gone head-to-head with presidential debates. The 2012 election cycle was also quite charged, and the NFL still thrived, accruing 200 million unique viewers overall.
In fact, there wasn’t a thing that could possibly touch the NFL in 2012 when it came to ratings. An NFL game in that year becoming the most watched TV show in 17 weeks of the regular season. Since then, the NFL has seen its numbers fall for all sorts of reasons. Today, Sunday Night Football is down by a notable 13%, and that number is probably going to grow over time.
TV networks have raised a lot of concerns about what might be causing the decline in ratings. The most prominently raised issue is the lack of compelling match-ups. You need to give people exciting and explosive games that can convince them to prioritize the NFL over their regular viewing. The National Anthem protests might have also turned a few people off. An estimated 32% of TV viewers who were polled recently said that Colin Kaepernick’s protests were compelling them to give the NFL a wide berth.
The NFL is a profitable organization and they are still making a lot of money from advertising. However, if the trend of declining ratings continues, they might soon encounter a lot of unexpected financial troubles.