Investors are concerned about the NFL, one of television’s most lucrative enterprises, and the reason is a familiar one for television: Ratings are down.
“NFL’s ratings woes continued in Week 2, and Wall Street is taking notice, given there are fewer excuses for falling viewership than there were a year ago when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were distracting TV-watching Americans,” The Hollywood Reporter notes. “While NFL games remain some of the most-watched content on television, ratings slid 12 percent in the NFL’s opening weekend, with many blaming Hurricane Irma. But without dramatic weather, the second weekend was off 15 percent year-over-year. This comes after an 8 percent ratings slump last season.”
The stakes are high. The report notes that CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC will generate about $2.5 billion in NFL advertising revenue this season, with an analyst estimating that even a 10 percent dip could translate to $200 million in lost earnings.
“Since the NFL season opened Sept. 7, shares of NBC parent Comcast are off 9 percent, ESPN parent Disney has seen its stock drop 3 percent and shares of CBS are down 5 percent,” THR notes. “Only shares of 21st Century Fox have risen in that time frame, up 2 percent.”
We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read the full analysis.