Network television executives are weighing their options as the National Football League continues to suffer after nearly two months of player protests; considering canceling up to 10 ‘Thursday Night Football’ games to boost up failing ratings.
The TV big-shots are proposing fewer Thursday night games to shore-up ratings in what many consider an “over-saturated” market. The concept would slim down the mid-week games from the currently scheduled 18 down to just ten.
“Ten years ago, the NFL had 32 game windows through week six,” reported Sports Business Journal. “This year, it is up to 39, a 22 percent increase. It’s even more crowded in college, where the 2007 windows to this point added up to 105. This year, it’s at 179, up a whopping 71 percent.”
“Overall, NFL game viewership this season is down about 7 percent from the same point last season and 18 percent compared with the same point in the 2015 season. More concerning for network executives is the 11 percent across-the-board ratings drop in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic, the biggest drop of any demo,” says SBJ.
The NFL has been struggling to regain its footing following weeks of players choosing to “take a knee” during the performance of the US national anthem. The ensuing controversy gained national attention when President Trump called for a total boycott of the NFL until officials and owners require players to stand during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
As a result, ratings, ticket purchases, and merchandise sales have plummeted as football fans protest with their wallets.