NFL blames election for drop in TV ratings

Portland sports fans say weather, World Series may have impacted viewership

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers is unable to hold onto a pass-attempt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As people across Oregon and Washington are experiencing “voter fatigue”, a new report suggests the dramatic election season is even impacting an American pastime: Sunday Night Football.

The report on claims both the NFL Players Association and NFL management agree the election is to blame for a drop in football ratings on TV.

NFL Players Association: Blame election, not on-field product, for ratings drop

Football fan Lyle McCuistion told KOIN 6 News he’s opted to pay more attention to his favorite candidate instead of his favorite sport as election day nears.

“Everybody should be paying attention to what’s going on in the country, and the NFL isn’t that important in the overall scheme,” McCuistion said.

The highly-watched presidential debates also took many eyeballs off NFL games, but clever businesses like On Deck Sports Bar & Grill in the Pearl District found a way to bring customers in.

“We split the restaurant,” On Deck bartender Joe Gianchino said. “Half of them watched the debate and the other watched football. You’d have people, like a couple, one would want to watch football, the other would want to watch the debate.”

Some blame the World Series for a decline in NFL viewership.

“That was a once in a generation type of event,” Jorge Caravia said. “I’m not a big baseball fan and I watched the games.”

It could be the nice weather that’s keeping people away from their TVs, another person theorized, or a new reliance on smartphones to keep up with sports scores.

But not everyone is letting the election keep them from following their favorite football teams, and despite the report, Gianchino says business is doing just fine.