The Jeff and Ed Show
Sliding NFL ratings could deliver hit to TV networks
The NFL's declining TV ratings, blamed by some on the national anthem controversy, could soon take a financial toll on the broadcasters that have spent tens of billions dollars for the right to air pro football, investment analysts say.
Through the first five weeks of the season, ratings for the Sunday night game on 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) Fox Sports have slumped 7 percent from a year ago. NFL viewership at CBS (CBS), the parent company of CBSNews.com, has plunged 17 percent for Sunday match-ups and 8 percent on Thursday. The audience for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" game broadcast has dropped 4 percent.
ESPN's "Monday Night Football" is bucking the trend, posting a 6 percent gain for the season to date. The sports cable network is owned by Disney (DIS).