NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, fresh off signing a new 5-year contract extension, has to deal with a nearly 10% loss of TV viewers for the season.
This erosion is on top of the 8% loss from the prior season.
Goodell’s contract extension, which could be reportedly worth $50 million over the length of the contract, was a contentious negotiation with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones demanding a wait-and-see approach.
TV ratings have been falling for the last three seasons, with accelerated losses due to many reasons.
The National Anthem controversy, which I have documented here. Huge swaths of middle America — the NFL’s bread and butter — have moved their viewing habits to Saturday and college football.
Another aspect is the proliferation of fantasy leagues, which leads many viewers to watch Red Zone-type channels showing highlights and scoring plays in real time. These shows help fantasy team owners select players.
Nevertheless, on Goodell’s watch the game has changed for the worse for longtime fans many who played the game in their youth like me. So Goodell faces a bleak future since many kids no longer play due to the threat of concussion and other injuries.
Many former football fields across the country are now used for soccer, lacrosse or even rugby.
As I wrote two years ago almost to the day, I believed at that time that the NFL would be a shell of its former self in “10 years — perhaps fewer.”
I now believe I will take the under on the 10 year line, to the point Roger Goodell will be the last NFL commish that the media will care about.