CBS chief executive Les Moonves blames three people for the drop in NFL ratings in 2016; Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and — yes — Donald Trump.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Moonves believes that Trump-generated interest in the Presidential campaign was partially to blame for the ratings slide — an assessment with which the President-elect agrees.
Numbers for the last few weeks show that Moonves may be on to something. NFL ratings have improved since the end of the campagn. The Sunday afternoon ratings appear to have leveled off somewhat, but the primetime windows Sunday night on NBC and Monday night on ESPN are still experiencing significant year-over-year declines.
Both NBC and ESPN are hoping that the red-hot Dallas Cowboys can cure their ratings ills. NBC will broadcast America’s team both of the next two weeks. (Next Sunday’s match-up with Tampa Bay was not originally scheduled to be in primetime, but NBC utilized its option to pick up the game.) And ESPN will have the ‘Boys on their air two weeks from now when they take on the Lions.
Moonves ultimately predicts that ratings for the season will end up “down a couple of points…not a big deal.”
The CEO of CBS discussed the NFL situation as part of his company’s announcement that NFL games can, for the first time, be streamed via the network’s platform — CBS All Access.
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