With many sports still navigating the coronavirus, the NFL made its triumphant return on Thursday night when the reigning Super Bowl champs hosted the Houston Texans. Showing their dominance, the Kansas City Chiefs controlled the game and won 34-20, but was anyone watching? According to reports, the game had a 16% drop in viewership from the previous year’s opener, marking a 10-year low for the NFL and NBC.
As the game ended, reporters waited for rating reports to come in showing just how well the NFL did. With the fabric of America in balance, experts were projecting big numbers for the nation’s favorite sport. Yet when the ratings were released, the opener received a bland score of 5.2 with 16.4 million viewers.
In September of 2019, the NFL opening game was against the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, with the Packers winning 10-3. That game received a 12.8 rating with 22 million views ranging between the ages of 18-49.
According to the report, “As of now, the viewership results for the game — in front of 17,000 socially distanced fans at KC’s Arrowhead Stadium — is looking like a 10-year low for the NFL and NBC.”
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Some experts are claiming the low numbers aren’t due to social distancing or a decline in the sport, but the game itself. By halftime, the Chiefs were ahead of the Texans 17-7. In the fourth quarter, they had extended that lead to 31-7. The possibility of a comeback was slim, but not impossible. Last year’s game was a much closer matchup as only 13 points were scored the entire time.
Another reason for such low views could be due to the player’s political stance before the game. With America already divided, they don’t need a constant reminder every time they turn on the TV. That is exactly what viewers saw as players on both teams joined arms in solidarity.
While social distancing rules only allowed 17,000 people in the stands – their “boos” and disdain for the gesture echoed throughout American homes. The voice of America tired of being beaten and silenced due to a culture set of forgetting its past and damning its future.
This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on September 12, 2020. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.
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