TV Ratings Expert: A Lot More People Are Tuning in to Watch Trump. The NFL? Not So Much


A television ratings expert crunched the numbers and found that more people are choosing to watch the news more than the National Football League.

Michael Mulvihill, the executive vice president of research for Fox Sports, tweeted a series of ratings information.

His tweets showed that the decrease in NFL viewership correlates with an increase in news viewership since Donald Trump declared his candidacy in June 2016.

Mulvihill showed that NFL viewership has fallen 19 percent and news viewership has climbed 40 percent in the last few years, NTK Network reported.

Watch: Trump Defies Crowd, Takes On Libertarians at Their Own Convention After They Viciously Boo Him

“We now live in an endless news cycle and we have to be prepared for the possibility that some unpredictable thing will fare up on any given Sunday and could affect our viewership,” Mulvihill told Sports Business Daily in August.

He added, “It would be a relief and a pleasant surprise if that doesn’t happen through all 17 regular-season Sundays. At some point, it probably will.”

He started his ratings discussion on Twitter with the total number of minutes people spent watching national television. In 2017, 2.8 trillion minutes were spent watching national television, which is a 40 percent increase from the 2.0 trillion minutes in 2014.

Using that percentage, he showed that the news is the “most-watched genre of programming on national TV in 2017.”

Do you usually choose to watch the news instead of the NFL?

In comparison, the NFL has recently seen a decline in minutes people seem to be tuning in to watch football since its peak of 376 billion minutes in 2015.

Mulvihill then asked, “why are people watching (the NFL) less often?”

Watch: NFL Legend Lawrence Taylor Joins Trump on Stage, Announces He's Left the Democratic Party for Trump

After Trump’s State of the Union address last week, this correlation should not be too surprising.

According to Nielsen ratings, Trump’s speech earlier this week was the most watched State of the Union address in seven years.

Roughly 45.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the Republican deliver his first SOTU speech as president on Tuesday night, surpassing the last six addresses to Congress given by former President Barack Obama.

Twelve networks aired live coverage of the speech from around 9:00 p.m. ET to 10:30 p.m. ET, with other media outlets also covering the speech to varying degrees.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith