• phil cantor/@osgphil

Stop Worrying About the Super Bowl TV Ratings


Big surprise, the TV Ratings for Super Bowl 53 were not astronomical. In fact they were the lowest in 10-years for the NFL's premiere event.

A 44.9 rating by most measurements is pretty damn impressive but in the scope of Super Bowls, it was nowhere near the lowest in history. Heck, it was still 2/3rd's of all televisions measured at the time. For one event.

Perspective folks.

Yeah, sure it is down roughly 5,000,000 viewers from the previous years, but there are also plenty of reasons/excuses it happened:

1) Neilsen (TV Ratings Service) doesn't do a good job of measuring Cord Cutters (people who don't have cable TV or over the air TV service). There are more non-traditional T.V. viewers than ever. Most every show on the air has plummeting ratings. It doesn't totally mean nobody is watching. They just aren't watching the way they used to.

2) Horrible game. Nobody is going to stick around for a poorly played 13-3 game on a Sunday night when they have to work the next day. (The game should be played on Saturday, see blog for previous story)

3) No bump with the Los Angeles Rams playing the New England Patriots. Yeah, sure it drew well in both markets (57.4 in Boston, 44.6 in L.A), however there was not a lot of enthusiasm outside those towns for either team.

4) No, the fact New Orleans essentially boycotted the game wasn't a huge impact. There aren't enough people living in New Orleans for that to factor in and the Saints fans are quickly becoming the UCF fans of the NFL.

All in all, 2018-19 was a pretty damn successful season for "The Shield". Over the course of the season, TV ratings grew and easily topped the previous one.

With teams like Kansas City, the Rams and others impacting the "Old Guard" and breathing life into the game, expect that to continue.

Remember it was a little over a year ago when we were all bemoaning the perilously dropping NFL TV Ratings in the midst of the Colin Kaepernick/kneeling controversy and a certain opportunist with the frighteningly important title telling his acolytes they should be boycotting the game.

The NFL has tried to distance itself from all of that and the players have mostly moved away from an honest to goodness political statement that evolved into a completely misunderstood movement.

I don't believe for a second it had to do with the ratings drop last year the same way it didn't impact them this season.

The NFL and all other major professional sports are now more likely to live or die based on the quality of its product, the emergence of new stars and its competitiveness. There are far too many options for people to watch or do as opposed to brainlessly tuning into a game.

It is time we all come to the realization TV as many of us a certain age knew growing up has evolved much like the world we live in. We don't get to go back and reclaim it and say it has to be like it was 30-years ago because, well, that is not possible.

Sports have to realize they don't have the hold on the General Population they once did. Once they come to grips with that fact--the ability to grow and improve the game....along with the ratings, will follow.

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