The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, not that many watched.
The NFL has suffered an odd ratings dip since the start of the season. A battle between a pair of 1-3 teams, though, hit a new low for the MNF program.
Austin Karp looked at the numbers :
ESPN's 6.5 overnight for Buccaneers-Panthers last night is network's lowest Week 5 "MNF" rating since acquiring rights prior to 2006 season
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) October 11, 2016
Many reacted to the news on social media:
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) October 11, 2016
TV ratings are down in the NFL for one simple reason – the TNF, SNF and MNF games have been mostly horrible this year
— Pete Pistone (@PPistone) October 7, 2016
Unwatchable football in prime time is another reason for decline in #NFL TV ratings. Beyond awful!
— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) October 11, 2016
NFL ratings are down. Have to wonder if these are factors:
– no one knows what is/isn't a catch
– moronic taunting flags
– no celebrations
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 5, 2016
That last point is quite relevant. We can talk all day about a presidential race and blame fans cutting the cable cord and the NFL throwing games on television four days a week.
But at the end of the day, the NFL has basic in-game problems that folks seem tired of. Referring is nowhere near consistent, if not flat-out wrong and the zebras seem more focused on making sure the players act like robots than enforcing the important rules. If the league doesn’t shore up these problems and isn’t careful, the ratings will only continue to decline and just like that, it’s No. 1 trump card disappears.
The NFL needs to change on many levels. Scheduling and on-field actions rule the day.
If the ratings don’t climb back up when the election concludes, the league may have to slam the panic button.