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BREAKING: Major Networks Panic After NFL Gets Hit With Ratings Plunge

Forbes

The protests by NFL players during the National Anthem have been hurting the league’s television ratings since last year.

This season, as the protests have continued, the television ratings and ramifications for broadcasters have worsened.

More bad news for the NFL: an analyst for Credit Suisse yesterday downgraded his price and earnings per share targets for 21st Century Fox in part due to NFL ratings that are coming in below market expectations.

“We trim our 2018/19 EPS forecasts … ahead of Q1 earnings,” analyst Omar Sheikh wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “The key near term headwinds are soft NFL ratings and the risk that the Sky transaction is blocked by UK regulators.”

The downgrade comes at a time when the NFL is negotiating two important distribution deals that end after this season: Verizon’s $250 million a year streaming agreement and the $450 million a year Thursday Night Football deal for games shared by CBS and NBC.

Through five weeks, the league’s ratings are substantially lower this season, according to Nielsen data obtained by Sporting News.:

The league’s average TV audience through Week 5 of the 2017 season dropped 7% vs. the same period of the 2016 season, and the average game audiences are down 18% compared to the first five weeks of the 2015 season. The NFL’s average TV audience (including Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games) slid to 15.156 million viewers through Week 5 of the 2017 season, down 7.42% from an average of 16.371 million viewers through the same period of the 2016 season, and 18% lower from the first five weeks of the 2015 season.

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SHARE this on Facebook and Twitter if you’re not surprised that Fox and other networks are taking a hit because of the NFL.

Also, here’s the official “I Don’t Kneel” t-shirt (we have hoodie, long-sleeve and v-neck options, too!) that has part of the proceeds going to the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans!

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