The drop-off in NFL television ratings has been a hot topic for nearly a year now. Many reasons have been suggested, including whether or not younger generations remain as interested in consuming the sport.
According to the Sports Business Journal, NFL ratings among Millennials may be in the decline, but the number of Millennials actually watching the NFL increased. Last NFL season, among Millennials, there was an 8% drop in the number of games watched, but a 2% increase in the number of them watching the NFL.
Generation X may follow sports more closely, but Millennials are still sports fans. The biggest difference between the way Generation X and Millennials consume sports is streaming. Millennials stream sports more often than Generation X, 56% vs. 29%, and they’re also more likely to use unauthorized websites, 20% against just 3%. Significantly more Millennials utilize social media to access sports news and information, 60% of Millennials compared to 40% of Generation X.
Millennials have a fear of missing out along with a short attention span, so watching one single game on a network in its entirety becomes less likely. They eagerly consume sports, but often at the expense of traditional television ratings. The number of Millennials watching the NFL on networks in the habitual format might be on the decline, but their interest in consuming the sport is not the reason.