NFL HELL: Scoring Worst In Decades… TV Ratings Slide Could Cause $200M Loss

The NFL Has A Scoring Problem – Potentially The Worst In Decades



BOSTON (CBS) — Through two weeks of the 2017 season, NFL offenses are on a historically low pace. Touchdowns and points are both down from the same point in 2016, and the issue could end up going far beyond just one year.

With Week 2 in the books, NFL teams have scored 132 total touchdowns so far in 2017, or 2.13 per team per game. That’s down from 2.44 touchdowns per game through two weeks last season. Points are also down, as teams are averaging 20.1 per game as opposed to 22.6 in 2016. When the scoring has been high it’s typically been on one side, as 14 of 32 games so far have been won by 14 or more points.

Teams ended up with 2.55 touchdowns per game in 2016, so some improvement is to be expected. But even if scoring increases at the same rate as last season, teams would average about 2.23 touchdowns per game by the end of the 2017 season.

Barring a more drastic jump, that would be the lowest touchdown average since (wait for it) the 1993 season, when teams averaged 2.02 touchdowns and 18.7 points per game. Steve Young led the league in passer rating (101.5) and passing touchdowns (29) that year.

CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC will generate about $2.5 billion in NFL advertising revenue this season, but a 10 percent shortfall could translate to a $200 million cut in earnings, an analyst estimates.

NFL’s ratings woes continued in Week 2, and Wall Street is taking notice, given there are fewer excuses for falling viewership than there were a year ago when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were distracting TV-watching Americans.

While NFL games remain some of the most-watched content on television, ratings slid 12 percent in the NFL’s opening weekend, with many blaming Hurricane Irma. But without dramatic weather, the second weekend was off 15 percent year-over-year. This comes after an 8 percent ratings slump last season.