Loss of viewers could prove fatal for NFL.
The NFL has been taking hits all season. Viewership during the regular season dipped as low as 13 percent, while playoff viewership dropped from 12 to 20 percent. There are many competing arguments for why this American pastime is faltering; some say it’s due to the #takeaknee protests, or Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players or maybe the cord cutting phenomenon that younger generations are experiencing. No matter what the cause, Super Bowl LII might determine the fate of the entire game.
The Super Bowl has always been known as the biggest event on American television. So many people watch it that a 30 second ad spot costs 5 million dollars, not counting the cost of actual production. Over the years, Super Bowl ads have become just as important as the actual game. This year there are already some exciting ads to expect, such as the climactic final battle of Bud Light (Dilly Dilly!), or the battle between Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman for Mountain Dew and Doritos.
However, big time sponsor Papa John’s, which used to be the pizza of the NFL has dropped their sponsorship and will not be airing a commercial due to the loss in viewership. Losing ads like those will definitely hurt, but if less people watch the Super Bowl, those ad prices will start dropping, and consequently the NFL will start losing money.
Super Bowl LII will either show that the NFL is still alive and kicking, or it could show the beginning of the end. Without people tuning in from across the country, the league will lose an exponential amount of money. While the stadium may be packed full of Patriots and Eagles fans, the ticket sales are a small part of the income that the NFL makes from the Super Bowl.
Couple the loss of ads and income with the possible return of the XFL, a football league dedicated to playing the game and staying out of politics, having fewer rules and operating in a similar fashion to the World Wrestling Federation, the NFL might find itself competing for audiences attention.. With a new rival to challenge the NFL and dwindling viewers, ticket sales and ad purchases, it seems that we might be seeing the end of NFL football, or at least its downfall.