Football failing in fan viewership, financials

The NFL: a Sunday afternoon tradition for decades, responsible for the joy and sorrow of millions of Americans every week.
There’s nothing like sitting down on a couch, chicken wings in hand, and hooting and hollering while watching your favorite team score a touchdown or make a nasty sack. The sport has brought endless memories to its fans, from Super Bowl triumphs to last-minute comebacks in the fourth quarter. However, a tragedy has recently occurred in the National Football League. A steady decrease of weekly viewers has left the NFL in a constant state of decline, resulting in an overall financial disaster for everyone involved in running the broadcasts. There are a number of factors contributing to this downfall but students at this school are still loyal to their favorite teams.

One possible reason that is contributing to the NFL’s viewership decline is its “overproliferation of games,” according to 21st Century Fox’s CEO James Murdoch. In other words, there’s too many games over the span of too many nights. Along with NCAA college football as well as Thursday and Monday night games, the weekly Sunday viewership for the NFL has little chance at attracting as many viewers as the less-saturated days of gameplay. Simply put, there’s just too much football to go around. Murdoch continues, believing that “preserving the scarcity value of those events and that audience is something that is worth thinking about,” as the otherwise loyal NFL audience has been overwhelmed with a massive influx of content, whether it be football talk shows, highlight programs or the games themselves.

Another controversy surrounding the NFL is the number of protests regarding issues of police brutality and social injustice, a trend that has found itself front and center in the daily NFL headlines. Taking place during the pre-game National Anthem performance, players in the NFL have dropped to a knee and linked arms, symbolizing their unity against the issues plaguing the nation as of late. While the protests are performed with good intentions, particular NFL fans are finding the displays offensive and believe they don’t belong in the game. Starting all the way back in week four, the protests have been a frequent part of each game even up to week eight as, according to The NY Times, “about 40 members of the Houston Texans knelt during the national anthem” in protest of comments made by their team’s owner regarding racial issues.

Despite the decline in NFL ratings nationwide, students at this school are remaining avid supporters of the National Football League for a couple of reasons, one of them being the maintenance of fantasy football teams. The recreational activity is widely popular at this school as groups of NFL-supporting students compete against one another with their personal, or “fantasy,” dream teams. “Other than watching the Redskins lose every week, my fantasy teams are an important reason why I still watch the NFL,” junior Matthew Winson said.

Some student NFL fans who don’t participate in fantasy football are still watching for entertainment purposes as well as a loyalty to their favorite sport. “It’s been the same game forever and it’s just fun to watch and experience in general,” junior Chloe Nguyen said.
James Barberis

Arts Editor

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