Patriots president Jonathan Kraft was asked about television ratings being down for the NFL this year during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub last week.
“It is true. Ratings are down, mid-single digits year over year. If anything has a negative trend in your business, you’re always focused on it,” Kraft said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I think the one thing with television ratings, though, which relatively speaking is still a strength in the NFL — if you were to go back to 10 years ago, the ratings for the NFL in absolute terms are materially higher than they were a decade ago. If you go to where prime-time television was, or literally anything else on traditional broadcast television, not only is it not up, it’s down by about 40 percent. So relatively speaking, we’ve held our own.
“But clearly now, I think in particular mobile viewing and attention spans of younger people are definitely going to require us — and we have been thinking about it — how to present our games in different ways and make sure going forward we maintain a strong entertainment product.”
“Seventeen of the top 20 shows this calendar year are NFL games,” Kraft explained. “I think we’re still, by far and away, the most watched thing on television. But television is a medium that is very, very rapidly transforming. When you think of a generation of people that grow up watching anything they want to watch on demand, the idea of setting your schedule around a live event week in and week out is a little antithetical. I think we’re working on ways, and I think you’re going to hear some news in the coming weeks, where you’re going to be able to watch our games, or many of our games on your wireless device in your market. You’re going to see other forms and presentations of our content that will hopefully allow us to adapt to the consumer’s taste. So we clearly are focused on it, but I think relatively speaking as a traditional television product we’re very strong. But in 10 years, traditional television probably, likely; the concept of traditional television doesn’t exist and it will be something else.”
- Browns HC Hue Jackson told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings that he feels like he still has the support of ownership, despite the team’s obvious struggles. (Mary Kay Cabot)
- A report from earlier in the day mentioned that Jackson’s Job is safe for now. (NFLTR)
- Jackson explained that WR Kenny Britt did not miss curfew and they ultimately just decided not play him this week. (Mary Kay Cabot)
- Rich Cimini of ESPN writes that it’s “highly unlikely” the Jets will pull off a similar trade with DL Muhammad Wilkerson to the one between the Jaguars and Bills in which Buffalo sent DT Marcell Dareus to Jacksonville for a conditional draft pick.
- Cimini points out that there’s really no cap benefit to trading Wilkerson now because they can cut him in March before his salary becomes guaranteed.
- The only cap benefit to trading Wilkerson now would be to save the remaining salary he’s owed over the next eight weeks.
- Even so, Cimini believes the Jets will listen to offers for him and could even make some calls, but a trade is unlikely before the deadline.