Tuesday, September 26, 2017
 
NFL Ratings Down Sharply; Many Comments Focus on Kaepernick Protest

NEW YORK, NY Oct. 17 (DPI) – Fairly or not, comment boards attached to news reports about the NFL’s sharp ratings decline have focused on what the reports themselves don’t: That viewers are alienated by player protests during the pre-game national anthem.

NFL prime-time ratings are down about 15% since last year, and most reports – citing media buyers and others – say the decline reflects a confluence of factors: Too much NFL programming, games slowed by penalties and injuries, too many entertainment alternatives, the fatigue of watching a violent sport, etc.  The Atlantic reported too that cable-cord cutting and device diversity – as well as  the presidential election — are contributing to the ratings drop.

That all may be true, but more than 4,000 reader comments on WashingtonPost.com and other sites assert that Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest during the national anthem of a pre-season game – which set off more protests – was the source of a backlash.

It’s hard to determine if there’s a genuine boycott against NFL games, but player protests can’t help. In any case the networks don’t generally televise the playing of the national anthem – except for big games like the Super Bowl – so the impact of those protests has been minimized, and the networks are understandably downplaying them.

Whatever the reason, for the NFL – which receives more than $6 billion annually from television networks – the consequences may be severe.

Most popular comments on WashingtonPost.com:

(Jeff Bezos) trying to get you to believe it is anything other than a boycott. I and many of my friends are boycotting because of (those) like Kaeperdick disrespecting America.
I hope the NFL rots and dies on the vine.

Not even 1 mention of players taking a knee during the national anthem. That’s the reason I stopped watching.

I used to be an avid football fan but no more after seeing the movie “Concussion” and learning how ALL players on the field are risking brain damage whether they know it or not. (Diagnosis can only be determined after an autopsy.) Better equipment and helmets will not help because it cannot prevent the brain from smashing inside the skull during impact.

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