The NFL might have a big problem on their hands when it comes to prime time football. Ratings for the league’s highlight Sunday and Monday night games have dropped dramatically this year compared to 2015.
For instance, Monday night’s Jets-Cardinals game on ESPN generated a 6.3 rating. That is a 34-percent drop from Giants-Eagles in Week Six last year and is 27-percent lower that 49ers-Rams in 2014.
It’s not just Monday night that is suffered though, Sunday Night Football on NBC as been struggling as well. The Colts-Texans game this week finished with a 9.0 rating, which is 38.4-percent less than last year’s Patriots-Colts game on the same week. In fact this week’s SNF game was actually the lowest rated since a 2011 Colts-Saints game. The Colts, who were without Peyton Manning that year, went on to loss 62-7 in that contest.
Although there are several opinions out about why the ratings have been struggling, the No.1 answer seems to be the way games are being officiated. With penalties heavily on the rise, many people are suggesting that fans are getting upset with the new game. That includes ESPN’s Sean McDonough.
“If we’re looking for reasons why TV ratings for the NFL are down all over the place, this doesn’t help,” he said about the amount of penalties. “The way this game has been officiated is not something anybody wants to watch.”
Although the officiating is certainly a factor, the NFL is definitely not helping themselves with the matchups that have been on primetime this year. You have to imagine that they could help themselves by switching to a system that would allow the league to select the primetime games on a week-by-week basis.