NFL kickoff ratings take a hit, but is Hurricane Irma to blame?

Can the NFL recover from its ratings slump?
Can the NFL recover from its ratings slump?

The NFL's kickoff game took a ratings hit on Thursday night after a season of chatter about the league's fluctuating viewership numbers. But was Hurricane Irma to blame?

The Kansas City Chiefs' surprising victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, nabbed 21.8 million viewers for NBC.

That number is down from last year's 25.2 million viewers for the NFL Kickoff. It was also down from 27.3 million viewers in 2015, according to Nielsen.

However, the potentially catastrophic Hurricane Irma, which is hurtling towards Florida with landfall predicted for Sunday, may have played a part in the down numbers.

The category 4 storm is getting around the clock coverage on cable news networks and has prompted evacuations in the state of Florida. Those factors could have hurt viewership.

tom brady sept 7 2017
The NFL's kickoff game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs saw a hit in TV ratings on Thursday night.

Despite the down numbers, the NFL is still the biggest ratings driver on TV, and last night was no different.

The viewership for last night's NFL kickoff is expected to double the combined total of ABC, CBS, and Fox in primetime when national ratings become available next week, according to the peacock network.

Much was made last year over the league's ratings dip early in the season before rebounding later in the year.

Some argued that the contentious 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton acted as a viewership vacuum while others placed the blame on a mixture of factors from a lack of star power to bad match ups.


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