NFL online? Keep it coming

The Bills and Jaguars kicked off this past Sunday as one of the NFL’s attempts at finding a new audience by having the game exclusively streamed online.

A huge amount of people got up at 9:30 a.m. for a game between two of the more pathetic franchises in the sport and people ate it up.

The World Series began last night and the television ratings from last year’s matchup were the third worst since 1984. I’m beginning to fear for baseball.

The lowest rated World Series ever took place in 2012 and with the exception of the magical run the Red Sox had in 2004, television ratings for the World Series has been on a steady decline since Kirby Puckett dazzled us all in 1991.

Ratings may go up from last year with a team from New York in it this year, but this ship is taking on water and has been for quite some time.

Figures for those at the ballpark aren’t that promising either. 17 out of 30 teams saw a decline in attendance this year even though a few more total people went through turnstiles than in 2014. When you start looking into the numbers you begin to understand why baseball has chosen to go the way of expanding their playoff system to generate more interest.

If you look at television ratings of the NFL playoffs it puts the national pasttime to absolute shame. Those figures double and in some cases nearly triple World Series figures. Last year’s wild card games, including smaller markets like Cincinnati and Indianapolis scored just below 30 million viewers. New England and Baltimore averaged 34 million which means even more people were tuning in at the end to see the finish.

Part of the issue baseball has is that it’s exactly made for TV. There’s a fair amount of standing around between pitches and batters looking at balls instead of making it a home run derby.

But, to be fair to baseball, American football isn’t exactly a highlight reel itself. According to the Wall Street Journal, that 60 minute NFL game includes only 11 minutes of actual playing time. The rest is spent basically standing around, huddling up, killing the clock and reviewing plays.

I say 60 minutes, but in reality it’s over three hours because you have to also include commercial breaks seemingly ever five minutes whenever the league decides it wants to sell you some Coors Light.

Touchdown followed by the point after. Commercial. Kickoff. Commercial. Do you ever notice that? Because it happens a lot. Yet for some reason we eat it up like it’s the last game we’ll ever watch. Even if the only way we can watch two bottom-feeders of the NFL is through an online stream.

Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or cgrove@civitasmedia.com.

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Charles Grove

Sports Editor

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