In general, politics and sports stories interfere with each other. Viewership gains for cable news often come at the expense of sporting events and sports coverage. Conversely, lighter news cycles in the fall means a rise in interest in the NFL.
According to pageview data from Taboola, Americans have again returned to the norm.
Axios provided the following side-by-side comparison for the top 10 topics based on monthly pages views from October 2020 and October 2021:
It's encouraging that the country is less obsessed with the topics "George Floyd," "White House" and "racism" than it was this time last year, when news stories accounted for 18 of the top 20 stories.
In addition, the NFL's engagement on Instagram has risen significantly year-over-year on its largest accounts: @NFL up 30%, @ESPNNFL up 98%, @NFLonFox up 57%.
By contrast, interactions on the @POTUS Instagram account have plummeted, down 78% from February and 59% from June.
Sports are likely to maintain momentum through November, thanks to the widespread debate about Aaron Rodgers' vaccine saga. On the day of and the day following the House passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, more Google users searched "Aaron Rodgers" than "Joe Biden."
Aaron Rodgers' search engagement could lead all topics but "Trump" and "Coronavirus" this month.
Americans are also spending more time watching the NFL and less time on cable news. Per Axios, the NFL "is on pace to place a record high number of its games among TV's top 100 telecasts this year, thanks to a significant rebound in game ratings combined with a further deterioration of entertainment viewership on TV."
Still, that's not an excuse for CNN's stunning demise...
Sports will likely shift downward again next fall because of the midterms, then rise again in 2023, and stumble in 2024 ahead of the presidential election. Remember that when Jalen Rose tells you mid-November 2024 that the NFL is in grave decline.