By Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — With the 2016 Presidential Elections in the rear-view mirror, fans of full-contact entertainment have returned to the NFL in droves.

Broadcast numbers through Week 14 show that viewership is down 10 percent over the course of the season. These numbers are reversed from Week 10, however, when league viewership was down by an average of 14 percent.

“It’s an encouraging rebound,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN on Friday. “I think it proves that the election was certainly a factor.”

That’s not to say that the news is good for everyone. Prime-time matchups on Sunday and Monday nights have historically delivered some of TV’s biggest ratings, period. But ESPN reports that Monday Night Footabll is off by 15 percent, NBC’s Sunday Night Football is down by 13 percent, and the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football is down by a dismal 17 percent.

Sunday afternoon football has actually fared best, with FOX experiencing just a 4 percent drop in viewership, while CBS has witnessed a 7 percent slide.

Under Goodell’s tenure, the NFL has shown a willingness to tinker with rules across the board, and he acknowledged that more changes could be coming to commercial breaks before the end of the regular season.

He rejected, however, any argument that the dip in viewership could be attributed to waning interest in the sport or a lack of competitiveness.

Indeed, the average margin of victory this season is 9.83 points, the lowest since 1932 (9.13 points). That year, the Redskins were in their inaugural season, known as the Boston Braves, and played home games at Fenway Park.

Games have also stayed competitive throughout, with nearly 70 percent of all 2016 contests within one score in the fourth quarter. If the season ended today, that would be the highest mark since 1935 (71.7 percent).

Over the last two weeks of the regular season, look for the NFL to consider ideas that would expedite the official review process (approximately 15 minutes per game), and commercial breaks (2:20 since the NFL’s TV debut).


Follow Brian Tinsman and 106.7 The Fan on Twitter.

Comments (22)
  1. Lipstick on a pig. viewership is still down because of the politics in the NFL.

  2. Correction: In 1932 the NFL Boston Braves played at Braves Field. They moved to Fenway Park in 1933, changing their name to Redskins as a tie-in to their new landlords, the Red Sox.

  3. Two Words:

    Dallas Cowboys

    Love them or hate them the reason for the ratings is with Dallas. Take Dallas out of the equation and the rating suck. The NFL has been so desperate that they have put Dallas on National games 6 of the next 7 weeks post election. Including Pittsburgh, DC (thanksgiving), Minnesota, New York, Tampa and Detroit (next Monday)

  4. NFL needs to recognize that disrespect of flag / country is parallel to decline in ratings and vice versa.

  5. jbspryjbspry says:

    CBS must be heavily invested in the NFL to be putting this fake news out.

  6. Bill Smith says:

    Well yeah, I mean… now that the 49ers are out of the playoffs…

  7. “Ratings rebound”……I detect the odor of BS.

  8. Rick Smith says:

    It was the Russian’s who were influencing the ratings!

  9. Chris Smith says:

    Not a single word about Krapernick and the kneeling fools disrespecting this country?

  10. The ratings decrease can be attributed to these two phrases: “The play is up for review”….and “we’ll return to the action after this brief commercial break “……..also many teams weren’t competitive this year……real yawners !

  11. Justin Tyme says:

    Ratings “rebound” to minus 10-14%? Doesn’t rebound imply ratings bounced back into the positives? How does something fall and then rebound lower?

  12. Is it a coincidence that the same year the NFL sees it’s ratings dropping faster than Bill Clinton’s pants that it becomes the “most competitive season since 1932?”

    The whole thing is rigged. Playoff scenarios are pre-determined based on which match-ups bring in the most revenue. Favored teams get favorable treatment – all for marketing purposes. The NFL is more FAKE than the typical CNN story.

    If you think this is conspiratorial nonsense, I have two words for you: Tuck Rule.

    Boycott the NFL!

  13. Nice try NFL and thanks CBS affiliiate for creating “Fake News” because we know a majority of Americans are disgusted with what they are seeing from these “players”. We have you figured out……

  14. Maybe it’s because we don’t see the anti-American protesters in uniform.

  15. I’ll never watch again.

  16. Darryl Egide says:

    Amazing how they continue to refuse to acknowledge the players politics is at the root of this.
    I am a 40 year 49er faithful and have stopped watching due strictly to that.

  17. NFL “Ratings rebound”……Only down 10%
    Fake News written by/for Useful Idiots

  18. I don’t believe a word of it. NFL hasn’t seen the worst of it. Zero money for Superbowl

  19. adoptek says:

    Roger will blame deflated viewer numbers on Brady.

  20. rufusvondufus says:

    Talk about fake news!

  21. cbs lies lol just like they said hillary will win election hey cbs here is reason ratings are down I WILL NOT WATCH THE NFL TILL FLAG /NATION DISRESPECT STOPS do you understand CBS or are you so stupid so low iq that its not possible for you to comprehend

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