Sports

Why The NFL’s Ratings Are Lower


This has been a very interesting year for the National Football League, and there seems to be a problem with their ratings. Ratings are important because that shows just how many people are watching a certain show on TV. This allows the producers to charge more money for their advertisement spots, making them and their business more money. You can see how this can quickly become an issue for the NFL since all they truly care about is the cash flow going into their bank accounts.

According to Standard Media Index data, the average unit cost of a 30-second NFL spot in September was $509,193, up 8% versus the year-ago period. NBC’s Sept. 8 NFL Kickoff broadcast thus far has fetched the highest rate for an individual game ($750,954), and “Sunday Night Football” remained the priciest prime time package with an average spot rate of $680,762 a pop, Standard Media Index said. Fox’s blended Sunday afternoon windows commanded $548,843 per :30, while units across the combined CBS 1 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. games were priced at $433,422.

So let’s take a look at the issues surrounding the NFL and why they are or are not hurting the league.

National Anthem Protests

This one seems to be the number one reason  people believe the NFL’s ratings have dropped this season. 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick has started a trend around the United States where players are deciding to kneel instead of stand during the nation’s National Anthem. This has sparked outrage as well as support for Kaepernick as he continues protesting police brutality and overall inequality to the African American population.

Is this really to blame for the 12% drop in viewership this year? No.

2009 was the first year that any NFL player actually stood for our National Anthem. Before then, players were still in the locker room mentally preparing themselves for the game ahead. No one cried out then. Players were not harassed, given death threats, or told to leave the country. Not a single person batted an eye. But one man decided to start taking a knee during the song, and people would like to blame that for a considerably large drop in viewers. It doesn’t add up.

colin-kaepernickFrom 2012 to 2015 all 32 NFL teams received $723,734 for “acts of sponsored patriotism.” Yes, the NFL actually made money for advertised patriotism. The Department of Defense actually payed $53 million of taxpayer money during that period to professional sports teams to hold tributes to the armed forces in this “sponsored patriotism.” The non-profit entity that the NFL claims to be is making money off of our taxes that originally went to the military.

“The Atlanta Falcons received $879,000; the New England Patriots, $700,000; and the Buffalo Bills, $650,000. The Atlanta Braves received $450,000, the most of any Major League Baseball franchise, while the Minnesota Wild were paid $570,000, the most of any National Hockey League team. “The Atlanta contracts included a 2013 event during which a roaring crowd cheered as the Falcons welcomed 80 guard members who unfurled an American flag across the Georgia Dome’s turf.”

What really bothers me about that my teams in both baseball and football top the list. Shameful.

But if you truly had an issue with the NFL not being patriotic, at least look at the real issue. Not a player who is in fact starting a conversation (which is what he said he was trying to do all along), but the corrupt NFL who is accepting millions of dollars in advertising fees from our military just so a family who lost their father/husband can stand on the 50-yard line. You would think that after the billions of dollars that the league brought in, they could do this out of the kindness of their heart right? Well that brings us to the second issue.

Greed

Up until 2015, the NFL was labeled as a non-profit organization. The individual 32 teams still payed taxes, but the corporate office along with all the people in charge did not. The MLB finally removed their tax-exempt status in 2007, and the NBA and NASCAR were already for-profit organizations.

The NFL is already sucking up money from our taxes that originally went to the military. They have no shame in doing so and there are interviews of team owners (of course….Atlanta) defending the case. They have tried and tried to squeeze every penny out of anything they possibly can. Have you noticed that NFL teams no longer post to Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter during the game? The league issued a memo in the first few weeks of the season stating that you cannot post highlights during a period before, during, and after a football game. Teams that violate the rule will be fined upwards up $25,000 for a first offense and up to $100,000 for multiple offenses.

To begin, the NFL is simply going to state that they are doing this so their demographics in the 18-49 year old range will have to watch the game instead of watching the highlights on Twitter. But that is as far from the truth as possible. Once the NFL tweets a video, individual teams are then allowed to use the video themselves. Why? Because the NFL’s Twitter account has advertisements enabled on each and every video. That means in order to watch that game winning touchdown, you will have to watch or skip an advertisement before doing so. If the league allowed individual teams to post their own content, the NFL wouldn’t see a single penny. These replays aren’t delayed very long either, they are put up a few minutes after the play occurred, solidifying the idea that the NFL is only trying to increase their revenue each year.

 

Yep, this is an NFL team using animated GIFs from a video game because they will be fined thousands of dollars is they post anything else.

I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion. When pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.

Mark Cuban

But maybe your favorite team’s Twitter account and new restrictions don’t really bother you. The greed goes further than social media.

Abuse And Blind Eyes

We all hate Brady. I will say that before I begin, and the Patriots as well for that matter. But Roger Goodell is after that man’s head like there is no tomorrow. Fines, suspensions, you name it and the NFL Commissioner has either imposed or attempted at imposing that punishment to New England. in fact, many have questioned how severe his punishments can be for deflating footballs  but causing physical harm to another person would be less severe. New York Giants’ kicker Josh Brown only served a one game suspension after his ex-wife filed a police report stating that he abused her. Because the police and the ex-wife refused to cooperate with the NFL, Goodell senteced Brown to one game. After a report leaked of the kicker admitting to physically and mentally abusing his ex-wife, Goodell looked like a fool and had no choice but to act.

What is funny about this situation is that the NFL hired investigators to find out if footballs were deflated or (once again…. Atlanta) speakers artificially adding cheering fans but simply could not or did not want to pursue the truth on Josh Brown.

The NFL has been all over the place on their punishments for domestic violence. One game for Josh Brown, six games for Adrian Peterson who was punishing his son on the butt, and the awful handling of the Ray Rice case. We always knew that there are shady characters in the NFL, but the league and it’s executives continuously mess up on every punishment they give. Whether it is domestic violence or deflating footballs. Their punishments always seem too little or too much, and half the time the league can’t even figure out what to do for the next case. The same stories keep coming up over and over again, why support a league who pays wife beaters? Why buy tickets to a game and give money to a corporation that treats deflated footballs worse than dragging your fiance out of an elevator?

No Fun League: Flags, Flags, And More Flags

This year has been riddled with flags and fines. The NFL should raise the salary cap so they can charge these players even more for having fun.

Here are a list of things you cannot do in the NFL

  • Have fun
  • Flex your muscles
  • Slam the ball down
  • Hug a referee
  • Twerk in the end zone
  • Smile in the end zone
  • Breathe
  • Wear a jersey
  • Cleats
  • More cleats

Players have been flagged and fined for excessive celebrations in this season than any other season. Players are not allowed to have fun anymore, they can’t dance after scoring a touchdown or flex their muscles in the direction of an opposing player. I’m honestly surprised that the NFL hasn’t issued four to five flags per official this season.

Antonio Brown scored a 26-yard touchdown on a Monday Night Football game, where he proceeded to celebrate in the end zone. His twerking resulted in a 15-yard penalty and a $15,191 fine. He was also fined for wearing blue cleats, another thing that the league frowns upon. But Brown won’t let the NFL get into his head, he stated that the fine is “nothing to a boss.” But this is now the fourth fine that the league has imposed on him alone for excessive celebrations. Players are unable to celebrate plays with their teammates or even alone in that matter after plays. The NFL has seemed to forget that football started out as a game to play for fun.

antonio-brown-twerking

The NFL’s usual excuse for the increase in fines is that they are trying to keep the game clean and allow players to become role models to children. A funny thing to say when your company is profiting $1.4 billion from beer advertisements. Every other commercial played on television is about beer, but they want their players to be respectful and keep the game clean. All Antonio Brown was doing was dancing like the cheerleaders that are dressed half naked at every game. There is nothing wrong with that, and there is nothing wrong with his celebration. It’s just another way for the NFL to collect dues. Josh Norman saw their excuse as invalid. Norman was fined $9,000 for acting like he was shooting a bow and arrow down field.

Since they sell beer on TV while kids are watching it, I’m thinking I might open a keg on the field, and I’m going to drink it on the field. And I don’t see that being on the rule book

Josh Norman

Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins shows us a textbook example of how the NFL wants players to react proceeding a touchdown.

 

Real Issues

The NFL does not seem to really care about real issues. While players are going around beating their wives, the executive office cares only about making sure an NFL team who was caught deflating footballs was punished. Why worry about being a role model company to children when Budweiser wants to pay $1.4 billion? But players dancing in the end zone doesn’t make money for the league so they might as well fine them.

By now you know I am an Atlanta Falcons fan, and I am still mad at the fact that Julio Jones was robbed a defensive pass interference call two weeks in a row. Instead of the league sitting down and discussing ways to review or fix this game altering issues, they’d rather fine players who are wearing customized cleats to the games. It just doesn’t make sense. But what does make sense is the decrease in viewers that the NFL is receiving. Because at the end of the day, they are going to do whatever they want to make more money, even if the fans don’t like it. Mark Cuban said it best, historically it is proven that the fat, greedy, pig eventually gets turned on. When teams or companies start to realize that they have issues like this, where the public despises them, they know it is time to turn a new leaf and start over. Teams do this by hiring new coaches, corporations do this by appointing new CEO’s. A lot of the time it works, the teams perform better and stock prices go up.

Maybe it is time for Goodell’s reign to be over. The NFL should implement checks and balances much like our government, and they should start reevaluating some of the issues that have been presented in the last couple of years. But to continue being greedy, draining out the fun from the fans AND PLAYERS, and botching every public issue that comes your way is not going to positively effect your ratings. Colin Kaepernick is the least of this organizations worries and with the route the NFL is heading, it is only going to get worse.