With all due respect to people over the age of 30, television networks just don’t care that much about you.
After all, people over 30 tend to be adults with actual lives; they have families and real-life responsibilities that need to be tended to.
Life and circumstance merely dictate that people over 30 don’t have as much free time to binge on television as an 18- or 21-year-old.
The NFL especially covets those in the 18-29 age range.
Not only do they have more time to watch NFL-related programming, they’re also the age group that’s more likely to start new families, which in turn could draw potentially more eyes to the product.
That being said, the NFL can’t be too thrilled with the data from a poll taken by the Public Religion Research Institute.
In fairness, as Roger Goodell will so arrogantly remind people, the NFL is still an overwhelmingly popular sport.
However, it’s not nearly as popular with younger people these days.
Only 22 percent of people polled who were between 18 and 29 said they were likely to watch football on Sundays.
That’s only one in five young adults watching the NFL on its busiest day.
Compare that figure with the 41 percent of adults between 30 and 49 who watch football on Sundays.
That means that the NFL’s next big generation of fans is half the size of the previous generation.
There are numerous contributing factors to the dwindling number of young adults watching the NFL.
First and foremost seems to be the proliferation of commercial-free streaming services, smartphones and video games.
but the data supports both the Netflix and videogame factors (note this doesn't include games played on phones and other non-consoles): pic.twitter.com/eCoOAhJcWt
— SportsTVRatings (@SportsTVRatings) January 18, 2018
Services like Netflix and Hulu have also conditioned an entire generation of television viewers to not seeing commercials.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that NFL games are heavy-handed with the advertising.
Young adults are also spending more time using their phones or computers to play video games.
The lower figure in younger NFL viewers could also stem from the rising concern of parents who don’t want their children playing football because of health concerns.
If someone isn’t a fan of football from a younger age, it’s unlikely he or she will grow up to be an NFL fan.
The league might still lay claim to television dominance, but its viewers are not getting any younger.
That alone should give Roger Goodell cause for concern. And he’s going to have to do a lot more than partner with Nickelodeon.
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