The downward trajectory for the beleaguered National Football League continued into the 2017 post-season last weekend, with Sunday’s decisive afternoon match-up attracting the lowest television ratings for an early game in the previous five years.
According to Sports Media Watch , Sunday’s head-to-head game between the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars posted a 27.3 rating, down from 27.4 for the same game last year and breaking record lows for the afternoon playoff game.
“The 27.3 is the lowest for the AFC Championship since 2015 (Colts-Patriots: 24.2) and the lowest for the early conference championship game since 2013 (49ers-Falcons: 26.1),” writes SMW.
The evening line-up cast even more doubt on the NFL’s prospects for a successful Super Bowl, with the Minnesota Vikings – Philadelphia Eagles game dropping 2.9 percent from last year’s totals; the second-lowest television audience for a late-game since 2009.
The National Football League has been hemorrhaging viewers for nearly a year as furious fans tune-out following months of professional athletes choosing to kneel during the performance of the national anthem.
President Trump thrust the issue into the national spotlight in 2017, urging all Americans to boycott the league until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’