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Networks Panic After All NFL Pre-Game Shows See Massive Ratings Drop


As ratings continue to fall for the NFL’s games, the ratings for the various Sunday pregame shows on the broadcast networks have also cratered.

ESPN, for instance, has seen a decline in viewership for Sunday NFL Countdown of nearly 20 percent through the first nine weeks of the 2017 NFL season, according to Awful Announcing.

It is “the most significant drop of any of the networks,” Joe Lucia wrote.

Also, ESPN 2’s Fantasy Football Now has also lost 15 percent through the NFL’s Week 9.

The audience for Sunday NFL Countdown has fallen from 1.41 million viewers at this time last year to 1.13 million today. For its part, Fantasy Football Now is off by 56,000 viewers going from 379,000 viewers last year to 323,000 today.

While not losing as badly, both Fox and CBS have also seen dwindling audiences for their Sunday pregame shows.

CBS’s The NFL Today lost five percent of its audience down from 3.5 million to 3.3 million, while Fox NFL Sunday lost about one percent falling from 4.738 million viewers last year to today’s 4.703 million.

There was a little good news for Fox, though, as its NFL Kickoff show saw a small gain going from 1.237 million viewers in 2015 to 1.274 million through Week 9 this year.

The fall in viewership correlates perfectly with the fall in ratings for the games, themselves. And, as Lucia noted, “it should be a warning sign to the league and its TV partners that declining ratings aren’t just because of casual fans being fed up with any of a litany of issues with the league. It’s a sign that the league’s core audience is getting fed up with some of those issues as well.”

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