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NFL Playoff Ratings Take A DIVE As Networks Finally Call On League To Pay Up

But the media still pretends not to notice.


In an episode of Mad Men, set in the early 1960s, Don Draper tells a colleague not to worry about a negative article in AdAge. “It will be lining bird cages by tomorrow,” he says. 

AdAge is still around, regretfully…and it has joined the thousands of media “news” sources playing deaf, dumb and blind about the NFL fan boycott. 

Ratings for the NFL playoffs have hit an almost 10-year low, with networks finally calling out the league on the profit loss and demanding “make goods,” or ads put on the air for free. 

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But just look at how this AdAge writer manages to cover his eyes, nose, mouth and ears while still typing out an article…blaming the entire ratings decline on the Jacksonville Jaguars:

Sunday’s (AFC Championship) game was practically flat versus the year-ago contest, as CBS averaged a 24.3 household rating compared to last season’s 24.4 rating.

It’s worth noting that Jacksonville did not appear in a single nationally broadcast game before the playoffs began. 

While even lowly franchises like the Browns and Jets are granted the league minimum of one coast-to-coast window per season, the Jags were relegated to obscurity as they were limited to a Sept. 24 laugher against Baltimore in London that was streamed by Verizon. 

In terms of distribution via the traditional TV platform, the Jags-Ravens game only aired in the two clubs’ home markets, which together serve some 1.8 million TV homes, or less than 2 percent of the national viewership pool.

For 100 years, the golden rule was “if you lose, the quarterback sucks.” 

Now, when ratings tank, it’s always because the team is not a marketable product. 

Ratings for all 32 teams are down. Guess not too many can be considered greatly marketable products anymore. 


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