NFL Boycotts Lead To Record Jersey Sales & High Ratings In Week 1
The reports of the NFL's death are greatly exaggerated.
After the first week of a weird NFL season, one that we weren't even sure if we'd see, its safe to say the NFL still rules the United States. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, and social justice movements, some believed the NFL season would be delayed, or stopped altogether. While many others believed the league would be brought to their knees through various boycott attempts.
Now that we're on the other side of Week 1, we can see none of that is happening. Not yet at least.
As far as jersey sales go, official NFL jersey retailer Fanatics reports RECORD HIGH jersey sales in Week 1. Their CEO Michael Rubin Tweeted out that jersey sales jumped 35% from year-to-year...
On the ratings side of things, there were some incredible highs in some of the TV ratings from this weekend.
The first thing to keep in mind when gauging the TV ratings of programs in 2020 is that "cord cutting" is the default answer for many US households. Meaning an increasing number of Americans are getting away from cable and satellite TV every year. Most are moving to digital platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple, among various other pieces of hardware to stream from companies like Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, and network's own apps. None of those ratings count in your general "TV rating" numbers. So the more and more households that cut the cord, the more and more ratings "drop" year-to-year.
Even with all the cord cutting, Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the highest rated NFL opener on Fox in four years.
That makes the Saints vs Bucs game the most watched TV show since the Super Bowl. But that's a weird statistic, because even the NFL games that are being pointed at as having "lower" ratings top any other show on TV.
The NBC Sunday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams is making headlines for having "lower" ratings than last year's Sunday Night Football opener. But even with their rating, they still beat every other non-NFL show on TV in 2020. However, the West Coast ratings hadn't even been factored in.
Some of the networks are now able to factor in the digital numbers from their platforms too. As we referenced before, cord cutting is becoming a bigger and bigger deal, meaning people aren't being counted in the "TV ratings". But when NBC factored in their digital viewers from their Thursday Night Football opener, their viewership jumped over 20 million for the game.
Even the worst Week 1 national NFL broadcast beats the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, and every other show on TV all year. Including shows like NCIS, Blue Bloods, Chicago Fire, This is Us, and all other shows, cable or broadcast. For reference, the NBA Playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets that went up against the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Houston Texans NFL opener, and lost the viewership battle 19.3 million (NFL) to 2.5 million (NBA).
Even if the NFL ratings were cut in half, they would still be one of the most dominating TV programs out there, and still the most dominant sport on TV.