NFL TV Viewership Drops 8-Percent In 2016, NFL Cites Variety of Factors For The Decline
By Darren Rovell, ESPN Senior Writer // January 5, 2017
first 9 weeks, Ratings were down 14% from 2015
(ESPN) – Broadcasters of NFL games saw television viewership drop by an average of 8 percent for the 2016 regular season, as a typical game was watched by 1.4 million fewer people than last season (16.5 million versus 17.9 million), according to league data obtained by ESPN.
Prime-time broadcasts were the most affected. ESPN’s Monday Night Football (17 games) and NBC’s Sunday Night Football (19 games, including two Thursdays), the two most costly rights deals, were down 12 and 10 percent, respectively, in total viewers.
Daytime games on Fox and CBS, which each broadcast 27 games, were down 6 and 7 percent, respectively, in total viewers.
Thursday Night Football games were excluded from the data comparison. A variety of factors made the comparison versus last year skewed, including streaming on Twitter and a new partner, NBC.