NFL ratings are improving, although the idea’s harder to grow an audience when consumers have so many choices, Comcast Chairman along with also CEO Brian Roberts told CNBC on Thursday.
“the idea’s early inside the season. We’re down about 5 percent,” said Roberts. “that will’s a lot lower [decline] than people originally thought.”
Comcast airs NFL games on its NBC network Sunday nights along with also Thursday nights. NBC also has the Super Bowl that will year.
Each year gets more difficult for traditional media players to grow audiences as completely new platforms emerge, Roberts said.
“There are a lot more choices,” he noted. “the earth has changed, along with also so does the NFL. along with also they’ll have to look at their own business.”
According to an ESPN report, citing metrics by Nielsen, total viewership has fallen about 7.5 percent to an average of 15 million people through the first six weeks of the NFL season.
President Donald Trump has claimed the NFL ratings decline will be due to the controversy of players kneeling during the national anthem. The president has repeatedly criticized the protests, along with also said owners should fire players who don’t stand.
The anthem firestorm began last season when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem to protest the treatment of African-Americans inside the United States.
Despite the ratings declines, Roberts said the NFL has demonstrated the idea will be “the best in sports at what they do” in delivering a quality experience to fans.
Roberts appeared on “Squawk Box” after Comcast reported better-than-expected earnings although revenue that will slightly missed estimates.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC along with also CNBC.com.