NFL dominates top telecasts, but ratings are down from 2019
The NFL is America's most valuable TV property, and it's even more important to networks and advertisers this year with entertainment production largely shut down due to COVID-19.
Driving the news: Last week's top six prime-time shows were all NFL, but despite outperforming all other forms of prime-time programming, Week 1 ratings for the league were down roughly 4% compared to the 2019 season, according to Nielsen ratings cited by CNBC.
- Some will say this is evidence that player protests and the league's social justice initiatives are turning fans away.
- Others will say the ratings decline is merely a result of the NFL competing with more leagues than usual due to the reshuffled sports calendar, not to mention cord-cutting.
- Another theory is that the pandemic — and specifically working from home — has thrown off our schedules and routines, leading to irregular viewing behavior.
My thought bubble: It's way too early to be making sweeping statements about what these ratings mean (especially when we're talking about a 4% decline). Check back in a week or two and we'll talk.