The NFL, the most popular sport in America today, is suffering a ratings decline. "Thursday Night Football" is down 18%, "Sunday Night Football" is down 19%, and "Monday Night Football" is down 24%. There have been quite a few theories as to why this happening, whether it be coverage of the presidential election, Colin Kaepernick's pregame rituals, the excessive commercial breaks or the overall decline of American attention spans.

Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton?

Various outlets are pointing to the 2016 Presidential Election as a possible deterrent to the NFL's ratings over the past few months.

Statistics say yes, as the ratings from yesterday's slew of games were as high as they've been all season. However, I don't buy it. Yesterday included the Cowboys vs Steelers, two storied franchises with a huge following and the Seahawks and Patriots, two very good teams who haven't played since their matchup in Super Bowl XLIX. Coincidence? I think so. To further prove my point, ratings for the World Series were way up this year, and it coincided with the the latter part of the presidential election. I refuse to believe that Americans were consuming election coverage at 1pm on a Sunday afternoon.

Colin Kaepernick?

Colin Kaepernick caused an uproar this year when he decided to kneel during the National Anthem, protesting the injustice being done to minorities and people of color.

Speculation suggests that this turned a lot of people off. Do I buy it? A little. I think that this election has caused a major divide in this country, and depending on where you stand in that divide, you may boycott the NFL until further notice. However, I believe that people who hate Kaepernick would boycott the 49ers games instead.

Based on their success recently, can you blame them?

The real reasons...

The first reason is saturation. Once upon a time, Sundays were the only day of the week that football was televised. People would look forward to NFL Sunday all week. Soon after, "Monday Night Football" came around and gave us an extra day of football.

You get NFL coverage on Sunday from 1 pm to about 11 pm when the night game ends, and 1 final gift on Monday night. Then someone decided to have a game on Thursday night. The NFL needs to cancel "Thursday Night Football" because it's a complete abomination. Not only are the games sub-par at best, it ruined the aura the NFL had. Sundays just don't feel as special anymore.

You would assume that an over-saturation of Football coverage would lead to more football, but it doesn't feel that way. This leads me to reason number 2 - too many flags and way too many commercials. Offense runs a play, pass interference is called, team calls a timeout, commercial break. Repeat that about 46 times a game. Flags thrown on NFL plays have risen dramatically in an effort to assist the offense in scoring more points, which is what the NFL wants.

What the NFL gets is people finding other streams to watch these games, which leads me to point 3.

For those unaware, NFL Redzone cuts from game to game based on how close the team is to scoring. In other words, you only see teams score points and skip out on the commercials. This service is $60 dollars a year and for fantasy fans like myself it's exceptional. This now leads to my 4th and final point.

Attention spans. Less people are watching games being broadcasted on TV, and are finding more outlets/streams to watch these games on. In this day & age of multitasking, people just don't watch the games anymore. There's the game, Facebook, Twitter, and Bleacher Report show highlight clips of these games, and before you know it, you've been looking at your phone for 20 minutes.

Combine the over saturation of the NFL to 3 games a week accompanied by a slew of flags and commercials, with other outlets to watch these games and our dwindling attention spans, and you have the makings of an NFL ratings decline.

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