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Is Football Losing It’s Spot As the Most Popular Sport?

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Is Football Losing It’s Spot As the Most Popular Sport?

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With the NFL’s 53rd season entering entering the eighth week, 32 teams compete this season to try to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy. But with all the controversies that surround the league, will anyone be watching?

The NFL, which set viewing records in 2015, has been losing popularity over the past couple years of years. In 2016, the NFL game viewership dropped by 8% and by another 9.7% in 2017, according to Nielsen. According to the Washington Post, Only 35% of people have a favorable view of the NFL in 2018, which is down from 57% in 2017.

Last season, the NFL lost an average of 1.6 million viewers per game. Sunday Night Football took the biggest beating losing an average of 2.2 million viewers per week. The AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars was the lowest-viewed AFC Championship Game since 2011. But the NFC Championship wasn’t any better, it was the lowest-viewed NFC championship game since 2009, according to Forbes.

In the past two years , the NFL’s TV partners lost over 1.2 billion dollars due to the ratings decline, according to Forbes. This decline will definitely hurt the NFL, whose TV deals (what deals are these) which will expire in 2021.

The main viewership demographic of the NFL is men between the ages of 25 to 54, and the percentage of that viewership declined by 8% in 2016 and another 10% last year, according to Nielsen.

The popularity decline is not just being felt by the NFL. Nationally, high school football participants have declined 6.5% since its 2009-2010 peak season. The number of high school football players in 2010 was 1,110,527 in 14,226 schools. Now in 2018, the number is 1,039,079 in 14,079 schools. A drop of 72,436 participants, according to Forbes and the National Federation of High School Associations’ athletic participation survey.

Surprisingly, outdoor track actually surpassed football as the most popular participatory high school sport in the 2016-2017 school year. This is the first time football hasn’t been number one in the history of the NFHSA’s yearly survey.

While football is still the most dominant sport in America by large amounts, The league is slowly dying. While the NFL still brings in billions of dollars of revenue per year, it loses just as much. Youth football is losing popularity every year. We are witnessing the slow death of the NFL and football as America’s most favorite sport.

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Is Football Losing It’s Spot As the Most Popular Sport?