Monday Night Football’s Bucs-Panthers game saw ratings tumble 24 percent versus the same Week 5 game a year ago.
Over the first five weeks, ratings are down more than 10 percent.
While Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN, which will pay roughly $40 billion through 2022 to air the games, are not yet panicking, the trend is raising some eyebrows.
Last week’s “Sunday Night Football” NBC telecast saw ratings fall 22 percent–but that game was up against the presidential debate.
Monday night had no debate and neither did the game last Thursday on CBS, which saw ratings decline 20 percent versus the same game last year.
The NFL recently sought to calm owners who may be antsy over the ratings decline–saying that in 1980, there was also ratings softness and that it was caused back then by a presidential election.
So are the eyeballs migrating to news programming?
BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, in a report on Tuesday, said no.