A headline for a story in the Sporting News this morning: “Shock poll: A third of NFL TV viewers boycotting games because of Colin Kaepernick-led protests.”
The Sporting News article says “Nearly one-third (32 percent) of adults say they’re less likely to watch NFL game telecasts because of the Kaepernick-led player protests against racial injustice, according to Rasmussen’s telephone/online survey of 1,000 American adults conducted Oct. 2-3. Only 13 percent said they were more likely to watch an NFL game because of continuing protests by Kaepernick and supporters such as Antonio Cromartie of the Colts (who was cut only two days after raising a fist during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in London on Sunday).”
This morning it was confirmed by the fact that through four weeks, good games and bad, games with marquee quarterbacks and big markets, ratings are way down this year.
This poll is predictable, not shocking. Who will ultimately pay if the ratings continue to sink? The players and owners.
The National Football League will rake in roughly $4.6 billion in television fees from CBS CBS +1.85%, Walt Disney-owned ESPN, Comcast-owned NBC, Fox and DirecTV that it will equally share with its 32 teams this year. The NFL commands such a rich bounty because advertisers pay up for football’s huge ratings.
The networks that televise the games barely mention the protests anymore. But the fans have not forgotten.