NFL TV Ratings: Why People (Won't) Watch – Forbes

Combining sports with online play fuels engagement and enhances the experience for the next generation of fans.ASSOCIATED PRESS

The NFL-is-Dying bandwagon so popular the past two years lost a few riders with the recent viewership uptick. But, the situation is much the same.

The leading brand in any slipping category takes the brunt of criticism. If tech is off, Apple takes its shots. If oil & gas slumps, we wonder what Exxon Mobile is doing. If TV viewing is declining, the NFL feels it most. That doesn’t mean Apple, Exxon Mobile or the NFL are in trouble.

As with past Septembers, the top 10 shows in 2018 were all NFL games. Last week the NFL held three of the top five spots among adults 18-49, led by Sunday Night Football. Any sport that draws over 50,000 to pay for tickets at every stadium with at least that capacity is doing something right. NFL viewership is up for some networks and down for others, with an overall slight increase so far this season.

What has changed

Sports don’t change, much. Cultures change, slowly. Technologies change. People change. Sometimes rapidly.

Recent changes in technology and people propel two major shifts influencing sports (viewing) in our culture:

1. The One-Clicks: Amazon executes the obvious. Make the experience as easy as possible. Before long Alexa will finish sentences for us. The one-clicks want everything else to be as frictionless. The aging fan base of mainstream sports may put up with five-clicks to buy tickets, mismanaged primary and secondary markets, long lines to scan physical tickets, and long walks to sit uncomfortably for upwards of three hours. The one-clicks? Not so much.

The one-clicks want seamless, effortless, smooth transactions and experiences. Let’s call it experiential efficiency. The

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