It’s no secret that this election has been one of the biggest and most highly scrutinized of all time.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated headlines and TV ratings throughout their respective campaigns and have taken center stage in every area of the nation. This domination has caused other entertainment outlets to unwillingly take a back seat to this monumental race, even the NFL.
The NFL has reigned as the most popular sport in America for years now and millions of fans tuned in every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday to watch their favorite teams go to battle. The league has been extremely profitable because of this and looked to continue their success entering this 2016 season. The election stepped in however and told the NFL to take a backseat while Clinton and Trump attract the attention of Americans every where.
Their first debate, which aired on Monday night September 26, was the most watched debate in American history with over 80 million people tuning in. According to Nielsen, it averaged a total of 84 million viewers who watched it across the 13 different channels that aired it.
On the contrary, the NFL’s biggest draw “Monday Night Football” has experienced its lowest ratings. The same night of the debate, MNF received a 5.7 overnight rating, and overall this season, the ratings are down by 19 percent.
The second debate aired on a Sunday night, October 9. Although this debate only attracted 63.6 million viewers across ten channels with a 25 percent dropoff rate according to Nielson, it still dominated the Sunday Night Football game that night. The October 9 matchup featuring the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings had a 10.2 overnight rating, which was its lowest in three seasons and a 22 percent dropoff from the week prior.
You see the pattern here?
The election has taken a stronghold over the television and internet universe. It has been a force that not even the most popular sport in America can stop.
Although this is not ideal for football, it’s ideal for America.
Again, this is one of the most important races in history where people feel as though they are voting for their lives. Many Americans are uncomfortable with both candidates so at this point, they are just voting on who can do the least damage to our nation as we see it.
With this in mind, I applaud the people for at least tuning into the debates and paying attention because every vote will count, and this shows that we do care about more than sports in this country. If the ratings for football had “trumped” the debate ratings, then I would be really concerned as to where our collective heads are at in this country overall.
The NFL has to accept the losses and take the back seat whether they like it or not because this truly is bigger than football.
Which did you choose: the game or the debate? Let me know here or on Twitter @phenombc3