NFL’s Week 1 television ratings down 13% from last year

The NFL ratings for Week 1 have finally by released by Nielson and they are not pretty.

Viewership across the board was down 13% from last year. Every night game took a hit, the only exception being New York and Dallas on Sunday Night which saw a slight increase over last season’s SNF opener.

Week 1’s biggest drop was felt in Fox‘s early slot, where regional action Sunday was down 28%. The afternoon games fared only slightly better. FOX’s mostly national Seattle-Green Bay Game of the Week was down 17%, as was CBS slate of regional offerings.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart preemptively predicted Week 1 ratings would be down due to Hurricane Irma and its coverage.

Last year the NFL attributed poor ratings to election coverage, whereas other experts cited the swelling of anthem protests. Regardless of the culprit, unless Week 2 ratings start an upward trend these numbers are ominous indeed.