There’s a word to describe the past year for sports on TV: brutal. NFL ratings declined. Sports debate programs were down year over year. NBA games on regional sports networks are down. A Clippers-Bulls matchup was the league’s lowest-rated broadcast network game in a decade, and, unlike the last one, it was not aired against the NCAA Tournament.
Fewer people are watching sports. Politics is playing some role. Donald Trump without question has been a distraction. Sports networks/leagues will hope that’s all that is occurring. Because it’s worth noting Premier League ratings have been down by a similar amount in the U.K. without Trump present.
Something broader is happening. Check out this comment from a BT Sports executive about the Premier League.
“The viewing figures we see on social media are really, really massive,” he said. “One third of 15 and 16-year-olds don’t watch linear TV at all.”