Fox CEO James Murdoch Blames Bad NFL Ratings on ‘Over Saturation,’ Not Anthem Protests

From:,  by Warner Todd Huston,  on Oct 26, 2017

Fox CEO James Murdoch is worried about the collapsing ratings for pro football, but thinks the drop is due to “oversaturation” and not because of the league’s constant protests during the national anthem.

Murdoch spoke at the Paley International Council Summit in New York on Thursday and blamed falling ratings on “how they’re licensing” the NFL, according to AdWeek.

In particular, Murdoch felt that the large number of games scheduled for Thursdays is too much viewing to ask of fans.

“So I do think the proliferation of Thursday availability — and the proliferation of football generally — does mean that you’re asking a lot from customers to watch Thursday,” Murdoch said. “And then they watch a lot more college football games on Saturdays, and then on Sundays, and then on Monday Night Football, etc. It’s a lot. So I do think that preserving the scarcity value of those events and that audience is something that is worth thinking about.”

Murdoch echoed the worries over the number of Thursday games heard recently from several other TV executives who were seen suggesting that the number of Thursday Night Football games should be cut from 18 per season to only eight.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart, though, discounted Murdoch’s statement by pointing out that Fox does not have broadcast rights to Thursday games, Pro Football Talk reported.

“That may be one of the reasons why he pointed to Thursday night,” Lockhart said.

Indeed, Lockhart insisted that the whole argument of oversaturation is not an issue. “We are not oversaturated, though we will always look at that,” he said.

Neither Murdoch nor Lockhart addressed the national anthem protest issue, but the growth of protests have coincided with a massive loss of ratings since 2015. With the protests against the country starting in the 2016 season, this year’s numbers are down up to 20 percent or more depending on the game from the ratings earned in 2015.

Not everyone is discounting the effect the anthem protests are having on the league.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently spoke about the anthem protests which have spread throughout the league and said that the NFL is suffering “negative” consequences over the continuing protests.

“There is no question,” Jones said last week. “There is no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests.”

The falling ratings may also be cutting into the networks’ earnings.

In a recent report, financial agency Credit Suisse, CBS’ consistently plummeting game ratings will have a direct impact on the company’s earnings with the financial service warns that the ratings could cut CBS earnings by as much as five percent.

Credit Suisse isn’t alone in warning that the NFL’s fall from grace is bad for the TV networks’ bottom line.

In September, another report claimed that CBS, ESPN, Fox, and NBC could take a $200 million hit to their estimated $2.5 billion in NFL advertising earnings if fans continue to turn away from their football habit.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


In my humble opinion, television execs and others in the NFL league office are afraid to admit that the drop in NFL game ratings are due to the FANS protesting the player’s anthem protests. They’re afraid because if they admitted that the FAN’S protests are driving the dip in ratings they’d have to confront the fact that the anthem protests are owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by black players. They’re staying as far as possible from doing anything that might be perceived by the black players as going against them.

As far as I’m concerned, the NFL is now defunct. It’s gone the way of the dodo bird.

I’d gladly accept a new professional league (the NFL, No Felon League), one that achieves a reasonable proportion between the number of whites and blacks, could limit the size of ALL players to something like 6′ 2″, 250 lbs and require them to sign a moral turpitude clause and pass a background investigation before being hired. The game wouldn’t suffer, in fact, it might be more enjoyable without the 340 lb freaks of nature lumbering around and falling on (and breaking) legs, arms, and ribs. The game would be played by men more relatable to ordinary humans.

I know that everyone won’t agree, but frankly, the NFL is fast devolving into the NBA where three-quarters of the players are black. Blacks have been protesting a lack of proportionality in various segments of society for ages, what the hell is wrong with protesting the lack of white players on professional sports teams?



Categories: General


2 replies

  1. I agree with you, Garnet. Murdoch is way off base. The ratings fall is from players dissing our flag and National Anthem. They’re a bunch of thugs, criminals, millionaires getting rich off of our hard earned dollars and they are dissing our country!

    Murdoch and the NFL will continue to try to blame this saturation or something else but it’s this kneeling by the players. Saturation? Why weren’t we saturated before this? Ratings began to drop a lot with the kneeling but we were ‘saturated’ long before.


  2. They’re setting up their excuses for when they stop broadcasting games on Thursday nights while ignoring the truth. One look at WHEN the ratings started slipping tells you why, but then we’re not in denial.

    I wonder if next year we’ll see more white players hired, not so much for their athleticism but more because they’re white and don’t come with so much attitude. that is assuming there is an NFL next year.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: