The NFL's TV ratings on FOX, according to an October 11th article with Sports Media Watch, declined for a third straight week. Where the dip in ratings came from isn't clear but perhaps when the presidential election is over American TV-viewing patterns will go back to normal.

Explanations for the decline in NFL TV Ratings

Reasons for the general decline in TV viewership of NFL games have been speculated on in depth.

Online streaming is one rational explanation for why the NFL's TV ratings are diving while the American presidential campaigns may be attracting a lot of diverting attention as well (source: Brandon Katz). 

However, it is broadly believed that the NFL's ratings are taking a hit, because of the Colin Kaepernick-led national-anthem protests. Whether people have lost their jobs over the dipping ratings is not something I know. However economic ramifications of the dipping ratings have been reported on recently.

Economic impact of decreased ratings

Michael McCarthy, a writer at the Sporting News, discussed his opinion on the results of the protest. He opened an October 6th article by stating that the "Colin Kaepernick-led player protests may be hurting the NFL broadcast networks...in the pocketbook."

McCarthy goes on to describe TV networks that televise football as having to give out free ads to make up for the dipping ratings.

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According to McCarthy, when "advertisers and ad agencies buy commercial time...they're promised certain numbers...If the game fails to reach those numbers, the networks have to 'make good' for the audience shortfall by providing the equivalent of free commercial time."

Since commercial time is what television stations try to sell, when they are having to give it away for free then they are taking a step in a direction that they don't want to go in.

How this whole situation plays out is a matter of speculation as well. However, I've already stated my opinion on the matter in another article (MovieTVTechGeeks September 24th). I think it's absurd the players making million of dollars are doing something that hurts the vitality of the businesses that support them.

Perhaps the turning point in the NFL's season will be the weekend after the upcoming presidential election, one that is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th.

It's an election that Hillary Clinton may very well win for the Democractic Party, a result that would make her the first female president in American history.

Will the end of the political campaigning alter the protests in the NFL somehow? Will the focus of sports fans change as a result? If so is that even a desirable thing?

By the time the end of the NFL regular season approaches the American election will be history and perhaps Colin Kaepernick as a political figure will be history too.

What might cause some major interest in the NFL down the road is simply the emerging situation in the standings. There are some pretty popular football teams doing well so far this season.

Dallas and New England Patriots each 4-1

Forbes' NFL valuations from earlier this fall showed that the Dallas Cowboys were the most expensive team in the NFL, a fact that implies a huge fan base. Those Cowboys are 4-1 after five weeks of play and they could end up in some big games on the business side of the season.

Furthermore, the New England Patriots are the second-most expensive team in the league by the same valuations and they lead the AFC East at 4-1.  Other expensive teams include the Los Angeles Rams (6th most valuable) and the Washington Redskins (5th most valuable). They are 3-2 respectively and in the thick of things so far this season.

Things don't look good for the NFL following the first month and a bit of the season. However on the horizon I think we can see political interest decreasing following the conclusion of the election. If some popular teams get into the playoffs they might save the day yet for Roger Goodell, the NFL's commissioner.

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