The league’s TV ratings have taken a 10 percent dive from last year. Some of its most prominent players, including Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt, suffered injuries on the field. Head traumas and concussions continued to rise. And in perhaps the biggest “unofficial game” of the season, the NFL squared off with President Trump after he criticized players who knelt during the National Anthem to protest social and racial injustice.
Times aren’t all rough — the league recently closed a five year deal with Fox Sports for “Thursday Night Football” — but the lead up to Sunday’s game between the Eagles and the Patriots is raising questions about the NFL’s status as an organization.
“I think the narrative that we need to look at is that it’s not necessarily falling apart or on fire, but rather that it’s no longer immune to the trends that are taking place on all of media and all of TV,” CNNMoney media reporter Frank Pallotta said. “For a long time, the NFL felt like it was above it all. And for a long time it was. That is no longer the case.”
Pallotta and CNNMoney sports business reporter Ahiza Garcia sat down with Brian Stelter to discuss the various factors at play in the NFL’s rocky season for this week’s Reliable Sources podcast.