In the past couple of years the NFL has been deluged with so many problems in terms of live attendance and television viewership that it’s hard to understand how the league isn’t getting the point of why people aren’t watching anymore.
Which is why they needed the two teams in the Super Bowl this year to pull off a miracle.
There are plenty of folks who watch the Super Bowl every single year where it might be the only football game that they watch in a given year. Which is why that they hope that no matter what there is an exciting game for people to watch to hopefully hook them in.
My kids wanted to watch the Super Bowl this year and I said yes and let them invite some friends over. Their parents came over and we all chipped in on food for the occasion. We were going to try and have a good time.
Somewhere around the halftime show, one of the dads of one of the kids looked over and asked me if we should start putting the pizza into little takeaway boxes for each of the kids.
Here we had an invited guest who had no requirements other to enjoy themselves asking if they could help me clean the kitchen after dinner because the game was so boring.
Everything that is on television lives and dies by ratings. What’s the quickest way to compound the NFL’s woes from the last couple of years? Put on one of the most boring games in recent memory.
Since reaching a peak of 114.4 million viewers for the Patriots’ 2015 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the Super Bowl audience has slipped each year since. The Super Bowl is traditionally the most-watched television event of the year in the U.S., and its audience hadn’t dipped below 100 million since the Pittsburgh Steelers-Arizona Cardinals game in 2009.
CBS dealt with a city that held a major grudge. Many fans in New Orleans, where the hometown Saints were victimized by a blown referee’s call toward the end of the Saints to the Rams in the NFC championship, skipped the game entirely.
Preliminary ratings from New Orleans showed that Super Bowl viewership this year was half what it was in 2018.
New Orleans’ Times Picayune newspaper printed a mostly blank front page on Monday with the words, “Super Bowl?” What Super Bowl?”
The newspaper asked, “you think the NFL is sad that the Saints weren’t in it to spice up the night?”
There was also a campaign on Twitter by activists who said they would not watch the game because of Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who hasn’t been able to land a job in the NFL since leading demonstrations in protest of police treatment of minorities.
After a season of offensive fireworks and conference championships that both went into overtime, Sunday’s game was a defensive struggle where the teams were tied 3-3 entering the fourth quarter.
That’s a tough slog for the casual fan, and the Super Bowl draws millions who don’t watch football regularly.
At one point CBS commentator Tony Romo said, “this is hard to watch.”