The media had changed drastically in the last decade.

The NFL is facing a bit
of a sticky spot right now. Their TV ratings have been in a rather steady
decline over the past few years with no true solution in sight. Even with all
the money that is coming from guaranteed broadcasting contracts. This is still
of the utmost concern to the league. If people are not watching then the money
bubble is doomed to burst. It is something the NFL has tried to fix this by
implementing new ideas like sky-cam and new opportunities for viewership. Even
yet it is a wound that cannot be healed by traditional methods. This issue is a
complex one that cannot be explained in a linear fashion. The NFL’s ratings
have been declining for many reasons. However, contrary to the popular belief
it is not due to any alleged boycotts. Even if the NFL was free from these
controversies they would still be suffering a decline in viewership.

The first reason is the
extreme oversaturation of the sport. Look anywhere in television, advertising,
or on a radio broadcast and you are bound to hear something about the NFL or
football in general. It has gotten so jammed into the audience’s faces that
they have just gotten burned out by it. It was really brought to light with the
creation of Thursday Night Football. With the combination of high school and
collegiate athletics, there are now five straight days a week to watch football
games. This is not even getting into media exposure. Everywhere you look in
sports media it is just football, football, and more football. Then when it
comes time to watch you just ignore it

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This issue also plays
into the fact that the way the audience consumes media had changed drastically
in the last decade. An abundance of fans has chosen to cut the cable cord and
reallocate their resources to avenues like live streaming. This is not just an
NFL problem but an issue that has plagued the whole TV industry. There is a
massive dilemma of falling ratings and what to do about it. The NFL situation
is a tad different. The difference for them is that people are tuning out full
games for condensed highlights on things like NFL Red Zone. Time is money in
this business and when fans are offered a full three-hour game with many
commercials or a condensed five or ten-minute highlight video on the league’s
YouTube page, it is clear which the fan chooses. The highlight videos offer a
quick fix instead of the long slow slog. The NFL YouTube page and Red Zone are
not the only successful venture that has ended up hurting its brand. The most
important one is fantasy football.

The fantasy football
market has blown up over the past fifteen years. Fantasy football completely
changes how the audience watches football games. No longer are fans rooting for
their favorite teams, but rather have become a legion of stat watchers. Take
garbage time for example. This is when the game is all but over and nothing can
affect the outcome of the game, yet there are still big and flashy plays. As a
fan of the team, this can be seen as unsportsmanlike as the other team clearly
wants to run up the score after the outcome has already been decided. As a
fantasy player, this is huge because their players could still rack up points
and win that player his or hers weekly matchup. Fantasy football has become a
bigger business than the game itself in some instances. Many fans have
converted to loving their fantasy team over the football organization they
preferred growing up. There are still many factors in this but this is yet
another experiment that has backfired against TV ratings.


Another main reason for
falling TV ratings is the competitiveness of the league. This could be because
many of the elite football stars are dropping like flies due to injury, but the
league parody has been awful. There haven’t been many competitive games in the
2017-2018 season. The games this season to either be a total blowout or
absolutely embarrassing slogfests where both teams try to hand each other
victory. This is especially the case in the AFC. There has been a lack of
parody in of the teams that reach the super bowl from the AFC division. The
names of the starting quarterbacks that make it to the super bowl are Manning,
Brady or Roethlisberger. No other team from that division has a real chance of
making it. The NFC is a little different because they have had a string of new
elite quarterbacks like Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson who could completely
change the direction in which their organization was heading. However, there is
the argument of in a few years that the NFC will be dominated by three or five
quarterbacks. This has put a heavy strain on the audience. The fans are simply
tired of all the bullshit. Over the past few years, the NFL has been a Public
Relation agency’s nightmare. There have been countless foolish profit-driven
decisions that reveal the league to be an entity that simply does not care
about its audience. An abundance of embarrassing situations
like how the league handled the Ray Rice investigation, deflate-gate, and the
subsequent overreaction to the Ezekiel Elliot situation. The way the NFL has
preached about player safety, yet wanting to add two more games to the regular
season and having teams play on only three days’ rest. Greedy owners have
completely strong-armed their cities into either paying hundreds of millions of
dollars for new stadiums or for the organization to completely abandon the city
for a new one like the Chargers and Rams did this past year. At this rate this
issue will only exacerbate. Especially with the brewing civil war between the
commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Audiences have
adequately responded by turning off games on Sunday to enjoy other activities.
Regardless the fall in ratings is not entirely the NFL’s fault. TV is losing
its battle with the internet currently. Video can now be easily streamed online
so now it is up to firms to adapt or to fade away like newspapers. The NFL is
beginning to experiment with live streaming of games with firms like Amazon and
Yahoo, but no one is certain that could be enough.

The league is,
unfortunately, trending downwards due to a combination of emerging concussion
and post-career issues and self-inflicted wounds. This is not to say the shield
is going to be dying anytime soon. The NFL is too big to fail and the media
contracts should stay off a bubble burst at least in the near future. However,
this is still of the utmost concern. It is up to Roger Goodell to determine
where the National Football league is headed from here.


(The commercials have to
play a role in this, I swear you could watch a kickoff get ran back then get thrown
into a commercial before the PAT, watch another kickoff and then before the
offense is out there get thrown into another commercial. People watch more
commercials then actual football nobody wants to see that. An NFL game has an
hour of the clock, with probably another 30 minutes of clock stoppage. Take
another half hour out for halftime, which wasn’t always 75% advertising, and
you’re left with a whole hour of nothing but planned commercial breaks in a
three-hour program. I think when the Super Bowl has literally pre-planned SLOTS
up for sale, which should tell you something.) Maybe add this right here