Super Bowl weekend greeted the NFL with deeply troubling news.
A new WSJ/NBC poll found a significant drop in the NFL’s key audience demographic.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
But new poll results from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, released just two days before the Super Bowl, might be a little tougher to dismiss.
In a survey of 900 adults conducted Jan. 13-17, the two news organizations found that the number of adults who say they follow the NFL closely has dropped 9 percent since 2014. But that might not even be the poll’s worst revelation for the league, because it also found that only 51 percent of men aged 18 to 49 — the league’s core audience, in other words — say they follow the NFL closely, a 24 percent drop from four years ago.
The bad news among the league’s key audience corresponds with the drop in television ratings that fell almost 10 percent this year.
The poll also reported most mothers don’t want their children to play football over head injury concerns.
The series of bad news stories about the NFL seems to be having an impact.
Player protests during the National Anthem alienated fans, concerns over head injuries and player arrests for spousal and girlfriend assault are collectively harming the NFL’s reputation.
The NFL needs to address the issues impacting public opinion head-on otherwise the league will continue to lose fans and money.