Thursday Night Football Hurt CBS’s Bottom Line

The CBS bean counters have pointed a finger at the NFL in company’s October-December 2016 revenue decline.


The National Football League’s top brass starting with Roger Goodell is spending the winter and spring months of 2017 trying to figure out what went wrong with the ratings in 2016. Why did fewer people wtahc games during the regular season, playoffs and the Super Bowl. While Goodell is researching the problem, he should also throw in a decline in college football TV ratings as well.

The numbers are still extremely high for the NFL if compared to other programming, other sports. But there is a noticeable drop off.

In the middle of the 2016 season, people began talking about the numbers. The NFL was looking for answers and was nothing definite to say, there were underlying causes that have brought down the ratings. There were two Presidential Debates starring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton that competed with two NFL night games. That didn’t help but that was just two nights.  A main culprit could be total oversaturation of the product not only from the actual games but from hours upon hours of just nonsensical talk about football which feeds the hunger of the NFL, Network ESPN, NBC Sports and regional cable networks along with talk radio to fill programming. One Sunday, there was a London game which started at 9:30 in the east and 6:30 Pacific time in the morning. Then there was the 1 or 10 o’clock game, the 4 or 1 o’clock game and the 8:30 or 5:30 contest. There was about 13 hours of games plus the assorted football-related shows.

At the end of the NFL calendar year, the AFC and NFC championship games, then the Super Bowl were the highest rated shows in their time slots. No network is going to turn down a chance at a February, sweeps month Super Bowl. The game gets the highest numbers in the TV industry even though this year’s New England-Atlanta match up had slightly less viewers than the 2015 and 2016 Super Bowls.  If you hear, see or read that there is no interest in the Super Bowl, then the NFL has a problem.


Despite some erosion in the ratings, NFL football still delivers eyeballs to advertisers.