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JakeDel5674

Wall Street Journal: The NFL Is Losing Its Core Audience, a WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds.

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Ahead of a Super Bowl that caps a tumultuous season, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll depicts a developing nightmare for the National Football League: Its core audience is losing interest rapidly, a potential threat to the league’s dominant role in American culture.

The poll shows that fans are following the sport less closely, even in key demographics, such as young men, that historically propelled the league’s growth. At the same time, parents increasingly want their children to turn away from football amid growing worry about player safety and the league’s efforts to address it.

The drop in interest spans age groups and the political spectrum—painting the picture of a sport that isn’t just experiencing a momentary dip, but a battle against fundamental questions about football’s future that have been building for years.

Sunday night’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles comes at the end of a troublesome season for the league. The best players got hurt. The owners publicly quarreled. The decline in television ratings steepened. And the league became a polarizing political lightning rod, entangled in an imbroglio with President Donald Trump over player protests during the national anthem.

The problems are taking a heavy toll. Adults who report following the NFL closely have dropped 9% since 2014, the poll finds. More alarming for the league, however, is the makeup of the people moving away from the NFL in large numbers: Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago. The poll did not ask respondents why their interest changed. The Journal/NBC News poll interviewed 900 adults from Jan. 13-17. The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 3.27 percentage points.

“You watch the guys playing college ball, and I feel like they are trying a lot harder and you get a better game,” said Tim Muzzy, 29, from Upstate New York. “I don’t hear the talk about [pro] football as much as I used to.”

Micah Roberts, a Republican pollster who helped conduct the poll along with Democratic pollster Fred Yang, said that from the NFL’s perspective, this is “absolutely the last group you would want to retreat.”

“If I’m the NFL I’m freaking out about that a little bit,” Roberts said. “They are the very core of the football-viewing audience. If they’re retreating, then who’s left?”

The NFL declined to comment.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-nfl-is-losing-its-core-audience-a-wsj-nbc-news-poll-finds-1517569200

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While the NFL ratings are declining their rating are still better than almost everything else one tv and people are watching less tv in general. reports of footballs death have been greatly exaggerated.

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With all the rigged games and storylines the NFL has lost what makes it pure. 

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For the time being I am glad ratings are down, these studies are showing the core audience is tuning out, and there was "poor" attendance at stadiums this past season and hopefully next.  This way the new owners will have less leverage when they hold our city and state hostage for money for a new stadium we don't need.  

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While I am a first amendment supporter, players kneeling during the national anthem did not help.  I do not agree with making them stand, but I disagree with using the TV cameras at your job to protest against the country.  It was a bad PR move, fueled by the presidential attention.  If Trump complains, 30% of our nation will not question it and follow his directives.

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Since I am not a subscriber to the post I couldn't see the whole article. What did it say about women viewers who the league says comprises a big chunk of viewers.

 Viewership is down but is fantasy football up? Seems fantasy players follow players scores and stats not teams or games. When I looked at stadium attendance trends they seemed more related to how teams performed instead of some systemic problems 

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6 minutes ago, panthers55 said:

Since I am not a subscriber to the post I couldn't see the whole article. What did it say about women viewers who the league says comprises a big chunk of viewers.

 Viewership is down but is fantasy football up? Seems fantasy players follow players scores and stats not teams or games. When I looked at stadium attendance trends they seemed more related to how teams performed instead of some systemic problems 

Nothing about female viewers. Nothing about Fantasy Football either. 

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They've been working on pricing themselves out of their core market for 30 years. Their core market can't afford to go to a game, and everyone else that hopped on the train when the NFL was the cool ticket is abandoning it for something new.

That being said, if MLB can keep limping on, the NFL isn't going anywhere.

Everyone that has watched the NFL for over 20 years is still watching it.  That's the core. They're just not going to games. They're not buying NFL Sunday Ticket. They're watching the local team and other games on broadcast television.

Also making it impossible to stream the games without Sunday Ticket and charging way too much for it isn't helping.

The NFL Bubble has burst.

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I will watch every Panthers game I can until the day I die. However, I have surprised myself with how disinterested I am in literally every other football game being played each year. Not sure how or why but the game doesn't appear to be nearly as exciting as it used to be. 

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It's no surprise that interest is lower, the on field product is down and it's not just the officiating.  Best athletes are opting for other sports. 

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14 minutes ago, Adb6368 said:

I will watch every Panthers game I can until the day I die. However, I have surprised myself with how disinterested I am in literally every other football game being played each year. Not sure how or why but the game doesn't appear to be nearly as exciting as it used to be. 

This is true for me as well...very surprised myself when I realized I just don't care about the other games....except maybe the rest of the NFC South.

Ratings I feel have to be in error.  Most people I know are unplugged and watching via Kodi or You Tube...I don't think these are being accounted for.

If I tried to identify why I am dis-interested in the other games:

The kneeling has never bothered me - the media bothers me how they think it is such a big deal and can't wait to show cameras on them.  I could care less- players can do what they want.

Penalty's - meh - seems its always been this way as far as bad calls go.  I wouldn't say it is any worse.

For me (and probably not popular but honest) it's probably the attitude of so many players.  Lynch and Odell...thugs like Gronk...they do not entertain me and I really don't want to watch them.

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Honestly, it's just following the cyclical nature of American entertainment trends. Remember when NASCAR got really hot a few years back and was the biggest thing going nationwide, not just in the traditional stronghold of the South? Celebrities were going to the races and it was a big deal. Then it just kinda faded back to its stalwarts and a handful of new permanent fans picked up during the swell. It was a fad for a while, partly because it just got a favorable trend, partly due to timely marketing. 

The same thing has happened to the NFL over the last decade. The fad started fading last season after it had really become the biggest thing going. Some are going to pin it on the kneeling players/anthem issue, but really, it is just more a matter of the fickle viewing public. It's just coming down off its peak. The league won't be going away, any more than NASCAR or the NBA faded out of existence. It will just go back to where it once was, two game slots on Sundays and a single Monday night game. 

And honestly, that'll be better for the real fans, the players and the longterm health of the league.

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