National Football League television ratings down 9.7 percent during 2017 regular season


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According to Nielsen, NFL ratings were down 9.7 percent during the just completed regular season.

The ratings slide bulit on an 8 percent drop from the prior season, which had been partially attributed to the hectic 2016 presidential election, the network added.

An average of 14.9 million viewers checked in for games this season, down 9.7% from 16.5 million per game during the previous season. However, the figure is down from 20.3 million viewers in 2016 and 22.5 million in 2015.

It's likely the decline in viewership will continue into the next regular season.

In 2012, viewership was off 5.1 percent from 2011.

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December 10, 2017: San Francisco 49ers players kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans. But the acceleration of ratings declines in the most recent season signals that viewership didn't merely temporarily dip, and could mark the beginning of an ongoing trend.

As for the playoffs, starting this weekend, they were among the NFL's most-watched programs in 2017. NBC's Sunday Night Football dropped from 20.323 million to 18.175 million, ESPN's Monday Night Football from 11.390 million to 10.757 million and Thursday Night Football (which aired on NFL Network as well as CBS or FOX) from 12.438 million to 10.937 million.

New games "diluted the Sunday afternoon packages and affected the ratings", CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said earlier this season, according to the Journal.

The decline is also being attributed to the availability of National Football League content outside of conventional TV broadcasts.

The dip comes after the National Football League signed a new streaming deal with Verizon last month worth a reported $1.5 billion. Additionally, Amazon paid $50 million for the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this season.