The NFL ratings are in and the people are not happy with the new political angle of the league. The ratings are down by a lot from last year and the fans rained down boos when the players got political.
17,000 fans were allowed in the game and were loud throughout the game. And the unmistakable sound of boos could be heard in an embarrassing moment for the league.
In early numbers, the NBC Kickoff game scored a 5.2 among adults 18-49 and 16.4 million viewers a big drop from last year.
Now, those numbers for the 8:25-11:30 p.m. ET game will certainly be adjusted upward later, but right now they mark a 16.1% drop over the spectacle of the September 5, 2019 season opener in the advertiser-rich demographic.
In an America and an NFL still adjusting to the new normal of live sports in the era of COVID-19, last night’s game also fell 16.1% in total sets of eyeballs from last year’s fast affiliate results.
As of now, the viewership results for the game — in front of 17,000 socially distanced fans at KC’s Arrowhead Stadium — is looking like a 10-year low for the NFL and NBC.
On a field bordered with the words “End Racism” and fans booing as players from both teams linked arms before kickoff in a sign of solidarity with those fighting social injustice, the ratings and viewership decline could be an ominous sign for a league and the networks.
The stellar numbers of last year’s opener, the Green Bay Packers’ grinding 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears, kicked off a tightly run season that seemingly had reversed years of weakening numbers. Now it could be a case of déjà vu all over again.
Also, even with the Texans taking an early lead in last night’s game, once halftime came and Kansas City led 17-7, the game lacked drama.
By the time the scoreboard read 31-7, a fourth-quarter rally by the Texans was a noble but wasted effort.
Add to that the fact that KC and Houston are not big national draws and this opening stumble may end up being a footnote once the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams face off this weekend on the Sunday Night Football opener.
For data comparisons, last year’s 100th season opener on NBC ended up with a viewership of 22 million. Among the key demo, the 2019 kickoff went on to snag a 12.8/26 rating.
Chiefs and Texans booed by the fans for protesting the National Anthem.pic.twitter.com/x2NNufWvEK— CHIZ 🇺🇸 (@CHIZMAGA) September 11, 2020