Tom Brady has been the poster boy of the NFL for years. When you go to nine Super Bowls and win six, that kind of thing will happen. Along the way, he became the guy everyone loves—and yes, I mean everyone (love to hate him, counts).
In a way, you could say Tom Brady has become the Floyd Mayweather of the NFL. Everyone wants to watch him. But while half want to see him dominate, the other half want to see his fall from grace. They want to see him lose.
Whatever the reason fans have for watching Brady doesn’t matter to the NFL. The league just wants you to watch. With how the ratings looked last week, the league needs him now more than ever before.
The first week of the NFL season is usually a pretty good week for ratings. Fans are excited the game is back, so they watch. Since the preseason was canceled, it would not have been shocking if ratings were better than ever.
With the team’s scheduled to play in the season opener Thursday night, the Game of the Week Sunday afternoon, and on Sunday Night Football, the league should have enjoyed a ratings bonanza.
But despite the two highest-paid players (Patrick Mahomes vs. Deshaun Watson) facing off Thursday night, ratings dropped by 16.1 percent compared to last year. Sunday night’s game featuring the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams saw ratings fall by 15 percent. It was the lowest-rated SNF game since 2008.
CBS’s regional games also saw a dip with games averaging 12 percent fewer viewers than last season. Monday night’s ratings took a big hit, as well. The first game was down 21 percent from last year and the second 38 percent.
However, Tom Brady’s debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints, America’s Game of the Week on FOX, set records because the ratings were so good:
The love/hate relationship fans have with Tom Brady explains the ratings for that game. But it was a mystery as to why the Chiefs-Texans and Rams-Cowboys ratings were so underwhelming. Or maybe it was not…
With the nation in turmoil over social justice and police brutality, it came as no surprise when the NBA and NFL players stated their intentions to protest during the national anthem. That, of course, brought down the wrath of President Donald Trump.
Trump-bashing national anthem protesters is nothing new, but he upped his game when he talked about boycotting the NFL:
Since he is on the campaign trail, it seems like he is taking shots at the NBA and/or NFL all the time. He did so once again over the weekend at a rally in Nevada:
By the reaction from the crowd, maybe his supporters are following his lead and not watching.
The FOX regional broadcast saw a slight increase in numbers (six percent), so Tom Brady and the Bucs were not the only show in town, just the best. Ratings for that game prove that there is a power more significant than the wrath of Donald Trump—how much people hate Tom Brady and love to see him lose.
Brady’s fans likely also played a factor, but let’s be real here. With as much as we have seen him dominant the NFL, we all kind of want to see his fall from grace. If the Trump impact is real, Brady winning or losing may be the only thing that can save the NFL.