After one of the most politicized seasons of the NFL’s recent history, the ratings are in for the Super Bowl.
The ratings were down significantly
Most viewers generally considered the Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles to be an exciting game, but that didn’t keep the ratings from falling significantly.
According to Nielsen ratings released Monday, the game received an average of 103.4 million viewers on television network NBC.
That is down a full 7 percent from last year’s Super Bowl, a low that hasn’t been seen since 2009. It’s slightly less than the 10 percent average drop in NFL viewership this season.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Super Bowl ratings have seen a gain year over year, and some analysts believe that the drop in viewership for the NFL mirrors a general lack of interest in television across the board.
Spiked by politics
The NFL season was inundated by partisan political bickering after former quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his protest against perceived police brutality and inequality. The issue really took off after President Donald Trump criticized the players protesting, after which dozens more joined in.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in a thrilling contest.