Tough Day For The ‘NFL Ratings Are Hurting’ Crowd: Bucs-Pats Sunday Night Football Game Smashes Viewership Records - DMT NEWS

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Tough Day For The ‘NFL Ratings Are Hurting’ Crowd: Bucs-Pats Sunday Night Football Game Smashes Viewership Records

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I can actually thank the NFL for turning me into a Premier League fan. While I played soccer throughout my entire life, I actually grew up watching football — the American kind. Couldn’t get enough of it. It was my favorite sport by some distance — when I was home, most of my free time was spent watching ESPN, which spends most of its time covering the NFL. It helps, of course, that the New York Jets and the New York Giants weren’t such dumpster fires in the early-and-mid 2000s.

But then, a few years ago, through a combination of the over-politicization of the game brought on by the two warring sides of the Colin Kaepernick debate plus the increase in gruesome, life-changing injuries and concussions — Ryan Shazier’s, in particular, was a turning point for me — I decided that it was time for a new sports-related passion, so I returned to the game I grew up playing, the original football.

That said, despite watching less NFL in recent years than I did in the previous decade (to be fair, it also likely has something to do with hitting the bar quite a bit more than I did in my youth), I still love the league, especially now that fans are back in the stadiums and we’re reminded of how electric it is when a massive crowd of people pulls in the same direction. I’m far from one of those people that roots for the league’s failure — any league’s failure, for that matter — and tweets about its viewership data and hashtags things like #GoWokeGoBroke on social media. Like that dude who went viral over the weekend for claiming that Tim Tebow — the 34-year-old minor league baseball player/ESPN analyst that was given a crack at playing tight end, a position he never previously played, over the summer — was being blackballed by the NFL.

It must be a tough morning for Nick and his fellow NFL haters, though, as reports are indicating that the Sunday Night Football game between Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots was “the second most-watched NBC Sunday Night Football game since the package made its debut in 2006.” Math is not my strong suit, but if my calculations are correct, that makes it the second most-watched out of 241 SNF games so far (17 games per season times 14 seasons — 2006 through 2020 — plus the three games to occur this earlier year).

Tom Brady’s record-setting moment on the gridiron delivered big ratings for NBC during Week 4’s “Sunday Night Football” game last night. Viewership of the match-up between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium scored a 6.0 in the key, ages 18-49 demographic and garnered about 28.5 million eyes in the time-zone adjusted fast affiliate Live+Same Day numbers from Nielsen. [via Variety]

Regardless of what side of the political aisle you fall on, the sooner you realize that professional sports exist in a state of perpetual growth, the better off you’ll be. Except for maybe baseball. Nevertheless, we are a society conditioned to want more, particularly when it comes to escapist entertainment such as professional sports. Go try to buy any elite sports franchise in America and see how much they quote you.

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Eric Italiano, Khareem Sudlow