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The NFL still dominates as America’s favorite sport, but it could do better.
Halfway through the season, a look at this year’s NFL ratings show that there is a decline from last season. Thursday Night Football’s Amazon Prime Video games are to blame.
Overall, NFL ratings are down from an average of 16.5 million viewers to 15.7 million.
The NFL mainstays Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football are pretty much in line from last season without any significant change.
The majority of the ratings dip comes on Thursdays.
Amazon is averaging 10.3 million viewers on their exclusive TNF broadcasts, which is down 16% from last year. The 2021 Thursday games were available on the NFL Network, as well as some simulcasted on FOX.
STREAMING ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE
Though the NFL is still doing fine and there’s no reason to sound the alarm just yet, if the pattern continues throughout the rest of the season and into next season, you can be sure that some executives will start feeling the heat.
Amazon paid about $1 billion per season for the rights to broadcast TNF on its streaming services for the next 11 years.
I’ve argued plenty of times here on OutKick that there are too many damn streaming services. Many times sports fans are either screwed out of watching certain games that they want to because they don’t own the particular streaming service. Out of the “additional” streaming services, Amazon will most likely turn things around because the company has become such an integral part of American’s lives.
But other streaming services like Peacock or Apple TV+ may take longer for consumers to come around.
NFL RATINGS ARE DOWN MOSTLY ON THURSDAY NIGHTS
Thursday Night Football also saw its share of absolutely AWFUL games.
It has become a running joke from fans across the country as to how low-scoring the TNF games will be. Some argue it’s a combination of teams being exhausted from the short turnaround as well as just bad matchups. Whatever the cause it, the games have been damn near painful to watch.
When Thursday Night Football first debuted, football fans loved it. Who wouldn’t want as much football as possible? But now that we are seeing a trend of low scoring and boring games, maybe there is some room to pause. Or, just blame it on Amazon Prime.