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Dismal NFL Ratings Force Networks To Renegotiate With Advertisers

MONDAY, DEC 14, 2020 - 13:42


Absolutely terrible NFL ratings and pandemic-driven schedule changes are forcing television networks to renegotiate deals with advertisers to make up for the much smaller audience, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which adds that their opportunity to profit off of the remaining games during the typically lucrative holiday season is narrowing.

NBC made the unusual move of lowering the price it charged advertisers that already had committed to run in a Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game planned for Thanksgiving night after a Covid-19 outbreak on the Ravens forced the game’s postponement to the following Wednesday.

Some networks also have considered letting advertisers pay less for commercials during NFL games and other programming than they originally pledged. -Wall Street Journal
Adding to the revenue shortfall is the fact that networks have given away a massive amount of the remaining commercial time to marketers (known as 'make-good' commercials) to make up for the underperformance, leaving little ad time that can be sold in the last quarter of the season.

Historically, NFL games are the crown jewel of ad revenue because they regularly gather the largest live audiences 'at a time of increasing audience fragmentation.' This year, however, ratings have taken a large hit due to pandemic-related postponements and COVID-19 sidelining several star players (Dez Bryant was recently told moments before kickoff he couldn't play due to a positive test, after hanging out with his entire team that went on to play the game).

Thanksgiving Fumble

According to the report, NBC was likely the hardest-hit this Thanksgiving - typically a cash cow for ad revenue thanks to NFL viewers. Alas, viewership for the Ravens-Steelers game, which cost advertisers an average of $1 million for 30 seconds of commercial time, was down 50% over last year to 11 million viewers. What's more, some Thanksgiving advertisers didn't pay at all thanks to the 'make-good' ad credits they were given for dismal ratings earlier in the season, according to people familiar with the matter.

"We’ve worked with every one of our partners individually to find what works best for them," an NBC Sports spokesman told the Journal via email. "We will have delivery solutions for all of our NFL advertisers this season."

Through 13 weeks of the season, NFL ratings were down 7% across its broadcast and cable games, disproportionately dropping among a key Males 18-49 and 25-54 age categories.

Gibbs Hajun, investment lead at WPP PLC ad-buying firm Mindshare, said: “Even as surefire as the NFL has been—and the last couple years, NFL ratings stood up much better than network prime-time ratings—we are now in a situation where the NFL is declining.”

Last month, we continued to note a plunge in the league's ratings. After documenting historically poor ratings for the NBA Finals on the heels of that league turning political, the NFL followed suit. We also noted a couple months ago that the NFL season got off to a poor start in terms of ratings.

Week 10's Sunday Night Football Patriots vs. Ravens game - featuring one of the best quarterbacks in the league and arguably the best coach in NFL history - saw its ratings collapse 31% over last year's Week 10 game, we noted. Week 10's Sunday night game became, at the time, "the season’s least-watched Sunday game," according to Breitbart.
In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
Why are the ratings down? We're in a damn pandemic and there isn't a helluva lot people can do.
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool 

Why are the ratings down? We're in a damn pandemic and there isn't a helluva lot people can do.

Don't underestimate how badly they miscalculated the backlash from the WOKE stuff which was shoved in fans faces. People don't like to be judged by their color, no matter their color, and preached at by people who don't have the moral authority to do so.

And the pandemic only emphasized how big of a screw up it was, As you rightly point out, there is relatively far less other entertainment. Less competition and still very weak ratings.

I know quite a few guys who just said 'enough'.....including some former regulars here, for that very reason. I know 4 or 5 former college football players who had been life long fans who just walked away.

And now, it will cost them with much lower revenues.
In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
Some, well many of us live in an area where our team is not always on tv, so we have to go to a sports bar type venue to watch the game. Sports bars used to be packed, but this season, crowds are now between 25-50%.(if that) This all has to do with Covid-19, the BLM/ANTFA crap. Many fans have kissed the NFL goodbye. I could give more examples, but is almost as easy to watch the game streamed like I did last Sunday.
Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool 

Why are the ratings down? We're in a damn pandemic and there isn't a helluva lot people can do.

Including paying their cable bill... as a lot of people are earnings less.

Also, I've always been a believer in that some shows get much bigger ratings simply because a businesses can turn them on for customers without worrying they're going to offend many.... so a number of business are playing them for background noise and a distraction for those that are waiting... for food, for a service, for something else.

Sports are probably one of those, and with a lot of bars shut down, or limited, they're pulling in less numbers.

Also, aren't those numbers to a degree estimate anyways? Where they might be able to tell how many businesses or houses have the game on... but then have to estimate how many people watching per house or per business?

And when streaming started coming in, those numbers took a bit because the normal standard tv trackers couldn't follow how many places it was playing... I still haven't heard how they have figured a solution to that out... I've wondered if they're just trying to estimate that as well? Or did they get some better way to really track it.

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Ratings for NFL Wild Card Weekend were down big

By Ryan Hannable

8 hours ago https://www.radio.com/we...rd-weekend-were-down-big 

With the addition of a playoff team in each conference and two more Wild Card games, the NFL called it "Super Wild Card Weekend," but when it came to television ratings it wasn't super at all.

According to Sportico, ratings for the games were down 25% on Saturday compared to last year and 20% on Sunday.

Ratings overall were down 7% in the regular season, so that is a big jump to upwards of 20 for the first weekend of the postseason.

So, what are some possible reasons? It may have just been too much football.

There were roughly 10 straight hours of action both days, which is just a lot even for the most invested of fans. The games also were not all that spectacular. Half were one-score games, but the outcome in all but the Bills/Colts were never really in doubt.

Another reason could be the events in Washington last week and people's attention over the weekend still being directed towards that.

While on the surface six playoff games in two days seemed like a good idea for the league, at least for this year the results in terms of fan interest it was not.

In Luce tua Videmus Lucem KRK
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Cheesey (1h) : “Kinky”? 🤪😂
Zero2Cool (2h) : I think even if Kinky is active, Damon is playing.
KRK (2h) : With Keke doubtful, do you think snacks will be active?
Cheesey (13h) : Well, that’s interesting. Goff’s thumb in the cold. Hopefully it will end up with a couple INTs!
Zero2Cool (20h) : John Wolford ruled out, Jared Goff to start, Blake Bortles to back up.
Zero2Cool (14-Jan) : Reports: Lions to hire Brad Holmes as G.M.
Cheesey (14-Jan) : Looks like they dodged a bullet. Keeping our players safe the last 2 weeks, then bringing the disease into the facility.
Zero2Cool (14-Jan) : I dunno about all that. I just heard on the radio that contact tracing showed no concerns. I counted that as a win. :-)
Cheesey (14-Jan) : That’s good. If he did practice with the team, others could be infected.
Zero2Cool (14-Jan) : Nope. Contact tracing was good.
Cheesey (14-Jan) : Oh geez. I wonder if we will lose any other players now?
Zero2Cool (14-Jan) : The Packers have placed recently signed OT Jared Veldheer on the COVID-19 list as a result of a positive test
Zero2Cool (13-Jan) : That's a cannot do as I have you blocked.
packerfanoutwest (13-Jan) : see my post 16 hrs ago
Zero2Cool (13-Jan) : The year is going well. @AdamSchefter Bears’ GM Ryan Pace and HC Matt Nagy will return for the 2021 season. “I was impressed with both of them,” said Bears’ Chairman George McCaskey.
Smokey (13-Jan) : Cold temperatures are one thing, but the wind chill can make this game brutal. LA may not be prepared for such cold weather !
Cheesey (13-Jan) : 10to20moh wind...sorry!😁
Cheesey (13-Jan) : Low to mid 30s, 20 to 30mph winds
Zero2Cool (13-Jan) : @AlbertBreer The Lions will interview Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Friday, I'm told. It's the only scheduled first interview left for Detroit, as the team wraps up the first phase of its
Smokey (13-Jan) : the
Smokey (13-Jan) : What is he game time weather forecast fr the LA/GB showdown ?
packerfanoutwest (13-Jan) : Bears rehire Pace and Nagy, Packers 2021 NFC Champs! thanks you sucky Bears
Cheesey (13-Jan) : I didn’t forget! My BUTT reminded me! (Plus the food is a lot cheaper, and no wait for the bathroom!😁
packerfanoutwest (13-Jan) : you forgot,"and warmer too"
Cheesey (13-Jan) : I wonder if there will be any tickets available to non season ticket holders? Not that I could afford to go anyway. Besides, my chair is more comfortable
Zero2Cool (12-Jan) : @mattschneidman Packers prez Mark Murphy says there will be between 8,000 and 9,000 fans at Lambeau Field for Saturday’s game.
Zero2Cool (12-Jan) : Obviously it hasn't been allowed before. Does not change anything.
wpr (12-Jan) : In a way it remind me of the Cards/Cubs trading players between games of a doubleheader. 1922
beast (12-Jan) : Never been allowed before... as active roster guys aren't allowed, and before 2020 PS players have never been allowed to play in games before. And might never be allowed again
Zero2Cool (12-Jan) : If he plays, it'll be two teams one playoff. Never been done before.
Cheesey (12-Jan) : Yup pfow. Thanks
packerfanoutwest (12-Jan) : or packers.com
packerfanoutwest (12-Jan) : Or nfl.com
packerfanoutwest (12-Jan) : or go to ESPN
packerfanoutwest (12-Jan) : or go to the thread yooper started
packerfanoutwest (12-Jan) : Cheesey,go to proffotballtalk,,your answer is there
KRK (12-Jan) : Sorry, that coaches analysis live might be on ESPN news
KRK (12-Jan) : for those of you who want to enjoy the Natl Chmpship, watch ESPN2 which has coaches doing live analysis
Cheesey (12-Jan) : Why would that make playoff history?
Zero2Cool (11-Jan) : Jared Veldheer signing with Packers, set to make NFL playoff history
packerfanoutwest (11-Jan) : ok enuff on any team not in this years playoffs
TheKanataThrilla (11-Jan) : I think that they had to move on from Pederson. The Wentz contract is a noose on this team. They really have to try to make something positive out of it and Pederson would make it impossible.
Cheesey (11-Jan) : 3years removed from winning the super bowl. It’s a “what have you done for me lately” league.
Zero2Cool (11-Jan) : The Eagles have reportedly fired coach Doug Pederson following their rocky 2020 season
Cheesey (11-Jan) : I called it! Did you see the look on Ben’s face at the end? He looked in shock.
Zero2Cool (11-Jan) : That was a messed up game. I was not expecting it at all.
yooperfan (11-Jan) : Whew, I was glad to wake up this morning and find that the Browns held on for the win!
packerfanoutwest (11-Jan) : all that for a loss? FUCK PITTSBURG!!
Mucky Tundra (11-Jan) : hell of a stat line for Roethlesbooger
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