Viewer erosion is raising alarms in one area where one normally would not expect to find it. MediaPost reports that viewing for the NFL has been slipping at a faster rate than viewership in non-sports programming.
Citing MoffettNathanson Research data, the report says the first four weeks of NFL action saw a decline of 11% in the 18-49 demo, while non-sports broadcast TV ratings over the same span of time were off by just 7%.
The stakes are high for the networks. The story notes that Fox received 49% of total network advertising from the NFL, with the number for CBS pegged at 40% and both NBC and ESPN at 27%. The report notes that the figures are impacted by the Olympics in the case of NBC and by the Super Bowl last February on CBS.
MoffettNathanson “points to less competitive prime-time games, as well as three of the major NFL teams’ star quarterbacks not on the field versus a year ago — Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos,” the report notes. Also noted was the strong turnout for the first presidential debate, which went up against a “Monday Night Football” game.