LET IT BURN: NFL worries mount as viewership slides with tough weeks ahead

The National Football League’s weak viewership has Wall Street on edge, and the numbers don’t look any better for Week 10.

Viewership fell 18 percent year over year in Week 10, which ended Monday, with lower ratings in all six game-time windows. JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quandrani noted that the slip in Week 10 puts the NFL’s season-to-date audience decline at roughly 7 percent.

While that compares well with the NFL’s 12 percent audience decline at this point in 2016, much of last year’s showing was written off as a one-time effect from the presidential election. That may translate into some tough year over year comparisons for the NFL in the weeks ahead.

“Ratings are down in 8 of 10 weeks this season,” wrote Quandrani. “We note that ratings picked up in 2016 starting in Week 10, which was the first post-Election Day slate of games. Total audiences were down only 3 percent post-election versus -12 percent through Week 9.”

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” viewership fell 18 percent year over year during Week 10 after a 20 percent slip last week, while viewership of the late-afternoon national game on FOX featuring the Cowboys and the Falcons fell 24 percent, according to JPMorgan.

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