By Robert Naylor
If you watched the entirety of the Super Bowl like myself, I feel your pain. Not only was the gameplay lacking
In the past the NFL provided escape for the every-day (wo)man. After a long week of work, it was time to unwind, crack a beer, and enjoy the weekly NFL festivities that would take place. No politics, no drama, just the peak of athletic performance butting heads with one another.
As politics transcended the playing field, more and more viewers began to lose interest in the sport. Not to say that Americans disagreed with the well-known National Anthem protest, the ambience of care-free fun had suddenly been absorbed by America’s political sphere.
Shows like SportsCenter, famous for their sports commentary, suddenly began questioning the moral ethics behind player behavior. New shows emerged drawing attention around drama and controversy, rather than sports analysis. Following years of this change in media behavior, viewership in the NFL has gone down, drastically.
NFL viewership used to retain roughly 18 million viewers during a regular season of play, which has drastically declined to a mere 14.9 million viewers in 2017. These trends indicate that viewership is still declining, according to ESPN.com Business Insider.
With less viewership, advertisers that used to beg for airtime now get to negotiate at the table. The chokehold that the NFL had on the advertiser pool has essentially been eliminated, which opens up complaints regarding lackluster Superbowl commercials.
In 2018, many viewers were irritated by the openly political advertisement that surrounded Superbowl LII. While this may have occurred, there was no national outcry against it. At least the commercials were embodying a message surrounded by the willingness to provoke. They were
Superbowl LIII, just a year later, failed to even accomplish provoking its audience through controversial commercials. The game, finishing at 13-3 in favor of the Patriots, would bring forward no memorable moments. Paired with a disastrous half-time show, Superbowl LIII would have been better spent watching paint dry on a wall.