Uh Oh: NFL Merchandise Sales PLUMMET – by Robert Gehl
Thanksgiving. Family, friends, feasts and football.
Well, scratch the “football” part.
It turns out not even Thanksgiving weekend – the holiest four days in football – can save the NFL from their cataclysmic drop in ratings.
Since last year, all three big Turkey Day games saw double-digit drops in viewership from just one year ago.
The Vikings-Lions game saw a ratings drop from 14.4 to 11.4, the Chargers-Cowboys dropped from 15.6 to 12.4 and the Redskins-Giants game dropped from a 10.8 rating to 9.7.
What’s worse is that DISH network subscribers couldn’t even watch the Chargers- Cowboys game due to a dispute with CBS.
But it’s not just about ratings anymore. Folks aren’t filling the stands either and now they’re not buying the merchandise.
National Football League merchandise sales have fallen more than 20 percent since the 2008 recession. Sure, there are lots of reasons why sales might be down over the eight years since the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, but many analysts blame national anthem protests for at least some of the drop.
One indication that the protests might be driving the drop in sales: It’s the first thing they mention when they’re asked what they don’t like about the league.
Awful Announcing writes, “One licensee did cite the oversaturation of games and lower TV ratings as a contributing factor. But perhaps it’s a combination of factors, and not just anthem protests and lower ratings. The NFL has taken hits from news about concussions, injuries to marquee players like Aaron Rodgers, the retirement of long-time merchandising stalwarts like Peyton Manning and Troy Polamalu, and non-traditional windows on Sunday mornings and Thursday nights.
“Holiday sales will be a litmus test for the NFL, but some licensees are worried that the league isn’t doing more to help their partners during what is the most important time for retail.”
According to a recent poll, national anthem protests were the top reason that NFL fans watched fewer games last season.
More than 9,200 people who attended at least one sports game last year were asked whether they tuned into fewer games this year and why.
Twenty-six percent of those who watched fewer games last season said that national anthem protests, some of which were led by Colin Kaepernick, were the reason.
After that, 24 percent of those surveyed who said they watched fewer games said they did so either because of the league’s off-the-field image issues with domestic violence or with game delays, including penalties.
One in five blamed too many commercials and 16 percent said they were more interested in politics now.
As Breitbart’s Dylan Gwinn writes: “Just because there might be more than one thing causing the league’s downfall, doesn’t mean you don’t do anything to fix the problem. Solving the anthem issue in a way that respects the flag, would go a long way toward addressing all the other problems the league faces.”
What do you think about all of this? Are you still watching the games? Sound off below and let us know!