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Thursday, March 23, 2023

NFL TV ratings back in ‘golden zone’ thanks to cowboys, parity and year-long drama

In 2017, I sat down with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at training camp and we talked about the state of the league. We chewed on his upcoming Hall of Fame speech, batted around the idea of ​​the NFL attempting to gain a marketing foothold in China, and ended a little conversation about the declining TV ratings in the game, which was beginning to take a hit at the time. League.

Jones has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the marketing and television end of the NFL. On this particular occasion, he referred to a “golden zone” for the league when it came to American television audiences. That area was put at between 17 million and 18 million. For the first part of that decade, the league originally established permanent residence in the area. So much so, the NFL was out of it only once since 2010–15, when the average viewership was 16.6 million.

“When you get an average of over 17 million views, that’s a good benchmark [for television rights deals],” Jones said at the time. “Now, it can fluctuate based on a few different things, but you have something special going on when you can say you’re getting an average of over 17 million people watching. The question is how to keep moving forward as we go. ,

That exchange with Jones took on some significance this week. The NFL broke out of that golden zone for the past five years, leading to some hands-offs for the league and even some networks shelling out huge amounts for rights deals. But everyone in that system applauded some good news this week: The league’s average 2021 regular-season viewership grew significantly, jumping 10 percent from 15.6 million in 2020 to 17.1 million in 2021.

It’s important to first understand why buoyancy matters, before what it promotes.

Cincinnati, Oh - September 13: A Tv Camera With The Thursday Night Football Logo Sits Before The Game Against The Baltimore Ravens And Cincinnati Bengals At Paul Brown On September 13, 2018 In Cincinnati, Oh.  (Photo By Ian Johnson / Icon Sportswire Via Getty Images)

There was debate as to whether the NFL was watching its TV audiences with games throughout the week, especially on Thursday nights. (Photo by Ian Johnson / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NFL Sportswide Was Not Untouched By Rating Dip

When Jones referenced the audience golden zone, he didn’t know the NFL—like the TV ratings of many major sports—was about to hit a brick wall. There was already a ratings drop in 2016, although Jones and the league passed it off as an election cycle issue. But it got worse for the NFL, with average viewership dropping to 15 million in 2017, setting off a roller coaster that eventually made the 17 million mark like a roof.

This was a problem for the league. In 2017, viewership was centered on knee-jerk players and political beef, but network executives saw a fundamental problem that had nothing to do with the NFL’s social culture. Instead, the TV bigwigs were quiet and, eventually, loudly complaining to the NFL that it had overshadowed the regular season with games. The Thursday night games felt like an albatross diluting the special chemistry of Sunday and Monday programming.

The NFL countered that other forms of digital consumption were on the rise and showed how viewers were transitioning. Originally, the league was asking for calm and patience, and suggested that the product would win. The league and all the storylines it provided were so good that the dip didn’t last. Even if an indication of the years below suggests otherwise.

If some of the officers or Jones were even honest, there was concern that perhaps something was wrong that they could not collectively see. Maybe Thursday’s game was a bad idea. Or maybe other forms of entertainment or the consumption habits of Americans have been destined to eat into a bulletproof commodity. It was hard to be sure because some of the so-called “smartest people in the room” saw the ratings come up.

While you represent five years of turmoil and a grain of uncertainty, this week’s ratings news represents a much-needed booster shot for team owners and the league office. Not only does getting a foothold in the Golden Zone show the NFL can come out of a tough phase, it offers a change of mindset. It transitions from trying to get back a television leg for Jones, the original purpose outlined in 2017.


Foxboro, Ma - October 17: Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones And New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Before The National Football League Game Between The New England Patriots And Dallas Cowboys On October 17, 2021 At Gillette Stadium In Foxboro, Ma.  (Photo By Rich Gressel/Icon Sportswire Via Getty Images)

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Patriots owner Robert Kraft share a moment before the October game in Foxboro. (Photo by Rich Gressel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NFL is a non-stop reality show

Consider parts of the rating in 2021. This is something that happened despite yet another year of immense drama off the field.

There was the infamous investigation of the Washington football team that has garnered negative headlines since the summer. Not to mention the DEA raiding the franchise’s practice facility as part of Team Doctor’s investigation. You had John Gruden’s resignation over racist and homophobic emails, after Gruden sued the league over the leaks. Deshan Watson has been dragging like an anchor since March. Antonio Brown took off his half-naked clothes and fled in the middle of a game. COVID-19 exploded. Urban Mayor explodes. The Las Vegas Raiders cut down two first-round draft picks after one was involved in a horrific traffic accident and the other threatened to shoot someone on social media. Oh, and the league settled a lawsuit with St. Louis for $790 million in a relocation lawsuit involving the Rams.

But on the product field? It was arguably 2021 as pleasant to watch as ever, thanks to a golden age the young quarterback is slowly retiring, not to mention the similarity that this season’s Super Bowl matchups have always carried. Kind of unexpected. The game itself and the players who make it are covering up a lot of downside. Then again, you could argue that the downside — all the off-field drama — only fuels interest in the league as a nonstop reality show.

Now pair it with the Cowboys, who are a big rating, even in down years. In this rebound, Jones’ team accounted for the two highest-rated broadcasts of the season and Five out of the top 10. Say what you want about Jerry Jones and his franchise, but when Dallas is competitive in a season like this, every team owner is overjoyed about what it will mean for broadcast partners and advertisers .

In 2021, this meant taking back some of the league’s televised swagger. And while the 17.1 million average spectators are not mountaintops, it is the highest number watched by the NFL since 2015. Time will tell if the league can hold the course and begin expanding its audience steadily. But the other edge is finally reappearing for the NFL. And for the first time in a while, the familiar wind is blowing in the sails.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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