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"NFL losing viewership" Topic

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Who asked this joker22 Dec 2016 1:33 p.m. PST

NFL fans have seen the various articles each with a unique reason why NFL viewership is down more than 10%. Here is my theory and comparisons.

NFL games just take too long to play out on TV. Consider that an NFL game is 60 minutes long. It has a half time of about 20 minutes giving it a 1 hour and 20 minute total time. So, you might think that the game should be done in about 2 hours. And if you thought that, of course you would be wrong! The only NFL game I watched all the way through took about 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete. When you consider that you are really only watching a total of 15 minutes of action, that's pretty bad. The extreme litigious nature of the NFL rules these days really slows the game down. Some would say it is unwatchable.

For consideration, Soccer (aka European Football) has a run time of about 90 minutes. When you take in a 3-4 minute extra time period at the end of each half, we are looking at 97 minutes. Counting commercials and all we are talking about 2 hours at the most. Soccer is a fluid, non-stop game. Nothing but action. Of course, the downside is that you could be watching two very conservative teams and the ball seemingly volleys back and forth at midfield. For me, I can watch a good soccer game all the way through.

There is also Hockey which is full contact soccer on ice. There are 3 20 minute periods and a total of 34 minutes of intermission. Most Hockey games are over in a little over two hours including commercials. There is non-stop action and few hockey games you could characterize as "boring".

With my son playing soccer in little league, I come to appreciate the sport and find it easier to watch than American football. Being an American with some American taste in sports, I find Hockey to strike a balance between soccer and American football. Lots of nonstop action of soccer and the physical nature of football.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Dec 2016 3:29 p.m. PST

Pro hockey is now filled with all kinds of stupid TV time out things. SWMBO just got me a five game package for the Capitals, and I was confuseled by all the stoppage. I had been spoiled by season tix to the Norfolk Admirals, where there was no stupid stoppage.

Give rugby a shot.

no lie

To the OP … it's not my fault. I can barely watch any sports on TV, so I am not part of the decline.

The Gray Ghost22 Dec 2016 4:23 p.m. PST

I vote for it's to freaking long, constant replays and checking the rules between com breaks

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2016 4:43 p.m. PST

Yes, chain reaction commercials which completely disrupt the flow of play and double game length.

zoneofcontrol22 Dec 2016 8:24 p.m. PST

I have an 18 year old daughter that has been swimming since age 2 and has competed since age 4. Most heats last 45 seconds to 1-1/2 minutes depending on the age group and/or the distance swum. Each kids swims 4 events. However, a typical swim meet lasts around 3 hours. So each kids gets to race a total of about 3 to 5 minutes during the course of a 3 hour meet.

There is a popular t-shirt that says, "If I have but one day to live, take me to a swim meet because they last forever".

The ironic thing is that in a normal 2 hour practice they will swim between 2 and 3 miles. That makes practice a lot more engaging to watch than the races. (LOL, the kids don't see it that way!)

Toronto4822 Dec 2016 8:52 p.m. PST

NFL really means "No Fun League "- boring repetitive games with too many games and just plain bad teams . One game was ridiculously bad – a 6-6 tie between the Cardinals and Seahawkes

I have an idea that would revolutionize all pro sports and that would be the policy that only the winning team is paid . A player's contract is broken down by the number of games in a season and you are paid only i your team wins Bonus segments are included or playoff games

To make it even more interesting tickets at home games would be refunded if your team does not win. Watch how good the games would be then

boy wundyr x22 Dec 2016 9:37 p.m. PST

Yeah, the NHL isn't a fast game to watch, and you're still likely to end up with a tie because no one plays to win in regular time when you can be guaranteed a point and then go for an extra one in OT/shootout.

Personally, with the NFL, I just can't stand the hype, hype, and hype. Less shouting, more action.

Mr Elmo23 Dec 2016 5:06 a.m. PST

Let's have more instant replay! Oh, and make the games 4 hpurs long.

Who asked this joker23 Dec 2016 7:57 a.m. PST

My gosh. Here is an example from last night's game.

3rd down play. Eli to ODB for something close to a 1st down. The refs give a favorable spot to the Giants. 2 minute warning. Go to commercial. They come back from the commercial. Eagles decide to challenge the spot of the ball. They go to a commercial. They were probably on the air for not more than 10 seconds before switching to a commercial again.

Starfury Rider23 Dec 2016 10:50 a.m. PST

I've always been of the opinion that the NFL will never really catch on over here in the UK because the season is too short and the games are too long.

I've heard exasperation creep into the voices of a lot of commentators over the last few years. I think Officials are taking longer to make what it seems are basic calls, like holding. The really complicated calls can take a true age. On the other hand, 'proper' football (the one where players kick the ball) is dragging itself painfully towards acceptance of some form of replay/video oversight. I know replay slows NFL games down even more, but as I recall (all right, looked up) it was removed from the game for seven or so years. That meant American football faced the same dilemma as world football does now; the only person who can make a decision is the referee, and they are the only person who doesn't have access to replay. Everyone watching at home can see, in super slow motion 4K or whatever, what happened and know when the official has made the wrong call, while the official has no support other than what their assistants saw, which may be not much to nothing.

Taking replay out of the NFL would be one way of speeding games, but at a cost in officiating accuracy, and there remains plenty of room for error. You can't challenge OPI/DPI, and judging from the silence in some matches from the commentators you can't say flat out the official was wrong either.

From an outsider's point of view I'd be interested to see how four 20min quarters would work, but no stoppages for the ball going out of play or an incomplete pass. You'd still have to stop for injuries but that's the same for any timed sport I think. The lack of momentum can be a real turn-off, and I have to wonder whether it affects the players as well.

My recall of sporting events is very poor, but I think I have to agree that over the last few years the quality of players seems to have diminished. It may be defences are getting better but it feels like QBs, RBs and WRs are just less effective. I've only seen CFB in the last two or three years, and am getting an understanding of how difficult it can be to transition from a good college player to a half decent NFL player. I can also see why it's so hard to find a good kicker.


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2016 12:55 p.m. PST

The pool of NFL-level talent is insufficient for a
32-team league. That's why there is a perception
(valid) that the level of play has declined – the
quality level of players has declined.

And of course changing rules almost every season for
one reason or another makes it difficult for some players
in the colleges to prepare for the NFL.

Also makes it difficult for officials and veteran
players as well, leading to more time lost, incorrect
calls, player infractions due to not understanding
how a rule will be interpreted, etc., etc.

Waco Joe23 Dec 2016 1:25 p.m. PST

My litany of complaints:

Games take too long (detailed above)

Heavy handed rules leading to the tag No Fun League. Penalties on celebrations. Odell Beckham gets fined while Zeke Eliot skates.

Uniform Police again enforced differently.

Political agendas and protests allowed that favor a certain point of view.

Golden Children and Teams. Cam vs. Brady, Steelers vs Buffalo.

Pampered athletes who think they are above the team.

Part time officials




jfleisher Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2016 4:05 p.m. PST

Take the referees off the field. Put them in the booth with all the video displays so they can make calls in (near) real time.

Mako1124 Dec 2016 12:18 a.m. PST

A lot of people, like me, are boycotting to protest underperforming, overpaid, multi-millionaires protesting against their country on national TV.

Apparently too, they've monkeyed with the game a bit to make kickoff returns happen far less frequently, eliminating and/or greatly reducing one of the most exciting plays in the game.

Then of course, they cut away for commercials, and you miss part of the game, etc., etc., etc., so I suspect I haven't missed much this year.

I get a lot more done.

Dan Wideman II24 Dec 2016 9:44 a.m. PST

Actually, I think there's one aspect no one has mentioned. The quality of play and number of injuries has gone down and up respectively since the last CBA. Thanks to the players union they only have to have full practices twice a week in pads with contact.

I can't imagine a Lombardi or a Knoll coaching under that.

Cosmic Reset26 Dec 2016 7:10 a.m. PST

I love American football, and used to enjoy the NFL more than anything else on TV. But I've almost stopped watching completely (haven't seen a game yet this year), not due to games being too long (3 hours for the last 50 years), don't really notice the protests, and the talking heads have basically missed it for me in every article I've seen.

I don't watch any more because:

I hate the celebrating of bad behavior. If you are an adult, and you act in a way that I would punish my child (or have them arrested) for acting, I don't celebrate you as a hero.

The rules have ruined the game I love. I love defense. Fearsome Foursome, Iron Curtain, or Doomsday II. Give me 6-3 any day over 51-49. I love the running game. Give me Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell any day. Brady, Manning, 55 attempts per game…yawn. I just don't care.

Announcers should tell me about the game. I watched the ice bowl replay one night. It was wonderful, there was running, there was defense and the announcers told you about the game that was being played, not about the QB's girlfriend's cousin's kid's school project.

Over-commercialization of everything in the game. I don't want to watch the GMC coin being Coca-Cola flipped, at the Tostitos coin toss, prior to the Bud Light kick-off of the Walmart game presentation.

Oh, and Goodell is like the anti-human. A black hole that sucks the soul out of anything good or decent.

The Gray Ghost27 Dec 2016 4:55 p.m. PST

I read in an article that there is only around 12 minutes of actual play in a game

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP27 Dec 2016 8:54 p.m. PST

Depends upon what 'actual play' means. If 'action involving
the ball' is meant, probably not too far off the mark,
especially in today's game (pass-happy).

Swampking29 Dec 2016 7:25 a.m. PST

I haven't watched an NFL game in about 10 years and don't really miss it. Frankly, the NFL is a bunch of overgrown children who get paid way too much to play a child's game. The so-called 'stars' are a bunch of arrogant, spoiled brats. How many 'stars' have been arrested for various crimes? And yet, their salaries keep going up and up while the time they actually play goes down and down.

The rules have become so complex that you need a degree in nuclear physics to understand them. The over-commercialization of the game is another complaint as well, as mentioned by irishserb.

Actually, the only professional sports I watch is rugby. My God, the crowds/fans are so well behaved it makes obnoxious, drunken American fans look like cavemen. The NBA suffers from some of the same arrogance and I believe that will also show in viewership.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Jan 2017 8:39 p.m. PST

None of these address why it has dropped off in one year. The games are no longer than they were. Play quality has been slipping for years. Red Zone and Fantasy are not new.

The ratings have bounced back a little post election but the question remains: why is this year different from last year?

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2017 8:30 p.m. PST

Local sports radio host got a number cruncher from Duke
to look at the situation.

The conclusion was: the ELECTION and the run up to it.

POST-election, the NFL viewership is less than 1 % down
from the average of the last 5 years….

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