Saturday, November 4, 2017

NFL Ratings Are Lower - But Not From Boycotts Arising From Anthem Protests

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Jags players in London for the Ravens-Jaguars game kneeling Sept. 24th for the national anthem after Dotard dissed players with asinine tweets.

Recall the crazed man-baby occupying the White House went on a twitter tirade back in September when  he actually demanded any NFL players who kneel in protest at the national anthem be "fired" by team owners. He also referred to such players as "sons of bitches".  

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin insisted Donnie Dotard was not picking a fight, despite the orange hued degenerate doubling down on his bellicose remarks at a rally in Alabama .  Anyone  with half a brain could see he was emphatically picking a fight with the NFL and activist players. It's about all this asshole does, whether with Hillary, NFL players, the media, the courts or Kim Jong Un.. The dotard then repeated his challenge to NFL team owners and encouraged fans to stop attending until the owners take action. He barked in a tweet like the mad dog he is:

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend! NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.”

In the wake of his dog whistling, the conservative media  - especially FOX (FAUX) News -  provided bogus stats to try to show the TV and NFL stadium viewing audience had declined as angry fans responded to the protests.   This narrative kept on going with the same take, but yesterday - for the first time - was shafted by another enclave of the Rupert Murdoch media empire: The Wall Street Journal.

In its Business and Investing Section (p. B1), the lead story('NFL Ratings Culprit: Too Much Football') was how yes, the NFL ratings on TV have sagged (by 8-9 percent) but not from any boycotts by red state crackers. It has more to do with pro football over exposure on television, something I've been concerned about for some time.  Football, especially televised on Thursday nights, as well as on early Sunday (from London), Sunday night, and Monday night, appears to have sucked the magic from the game for many. In addition, games have grown vastly longer because of the incessant flags, penalties - something you saw with far less frequency in the 60s, 70s..

It was always a dumb idea anyway to add  another weekday game - barely four days after many teams played the previous Sunday. It simply opened the door to more injuries. And we've seen those happen, such as the Ravens' Joe Flacco being knocked out of the game nine days ago vs. Miami.  The ensuing Ravens' injury report makes the case that the Thursday night games now need to be nixed, e.g.

I agree with that and the NFL needs to tamp down its profit mongering.. There's just too much football as it is, and yes, you can have too much of a good thing. There's also television precedent for that - as the 1999 showings of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' went from one showing a week to three. It was simply too much of a fun show, and the  over-sated viewers dropped off, rushing the franchise to its epitaph.

For me, I seldom watch any Thursday night games anymore unless the Packers are playing. Even then I wince with almost every down, at the possibility of some season- ending injury.

In regard to the trope that boycotts by zealous, flag- waving paper patriots have driven the ratings dip, the WSJ notes (ibid.):

"There is no significant evidence of a red state boycott, according to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by the measurement firm Samba TV, which analyzes data from 13.5 million smart TVs across the country. Through seven weeks the share of TVs tuning in to NFL games was down 8.7 % on average in the red states while in blue states viewing was down 10 percent".


"But when Trump started tweeting his displeasure about protests in week 3, the NFL had its best year over year ratings performance of the season and the red states were down just 1 percent. In the ensuring weeks the declines were generally even."

Quoting CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus:

"I do think it's clear that adding 10 games to the Thursday night package and two additional Sunday morning games has clearly diluted the Sunday afternoon packages and affected the ratings. It's just simple mathematics."

True, given one will in general have 'x' things to do - Sunday or no Sunday - and one can't consume every waking hour watching football no matter how much of an addict one may be.

One of the more eye-popping aspects uncovered in the piece was:

"A recent HBO Real Sports/ Marist poll showed that 84 percent of Trump supporters  believe the NFL should require players to stand for the anthem."

This compared to 27 percent of Dems holding that view.

But this nearly factor three difference isn't too surprising given most Trumpies are inveterate authoritarians who talk a good game about personal liberty and the 1st amendment but don't really believe it.  After all, they worship at the feet of Dotard the ultimate authoritarian in the country right now - whose screaming last month  that  Bowe Bergdhal ought  to be executed as a "traitor" induced his release as a free man. The judge in the case (Nance)  correctly decided Trump's interjection qualified as "mitigating evidence" and let Bergdahl go with no prison time.  When will this asshole learn to STFU in criminal cases? Probably never.

Donnie Dotard can't seem to help interjecting his officious,  whiny toddler-ass voice into potential criminal proceedings, including the guy (Saipov) involved in the NYC truck attack. His repeated assaults on the criminal justice system cross lines other presidents have largely observed since the Watergate era..  His frustration has been fueled particularly by his inability to control the investigation into whether his campaign coordinated with Russia during last year’s election.  In other words, this turd fancies himself a dictator, as do his Trumpkin followers.

The takeaway is the Trumpkins' claim their boycott drove ratings down is poppycock. They didn't. It's just a matter of too much football, i.e. plain old over exposure and overkill. The broadcasting media (like CBS and FOX)  are merely biding their time until contracts can be renegotiated-  with pricing downward..

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