Hundreds of NFL players have taken a knee in the past few weeks to protest against President Donald Trump and against racial inequality. Now, this has come back to bite them in a huge way.
Conservative Tribune reported that JPMorgan Chase just gave a brutal outlook to the NFL and the networks that are carrying its games, citing the anthem protests as one reason the league is in big trouble. Analyst Shawn Quigg warned investors that they should bet against CBS stock ahead of this week’s NFL matchups, arguing that more controversy could tank the stock.
“The bank recommends buying an option that gives you the right to sell the shares at $57.50 on the likelihood that the stock will fall below that price after the company discloses ratings for the games,” Quigg said in a note to investors. “CBS closed at $58 on Tuesday.”
“NFL-related revenue is not trivial to CBS, and any decline in NFL viewership related to the national anthem debate may negatively affect future results,” he added. “We view this weekend’s viewership results as a cleaner proxy in determining whether the anthem debate may be a larger issue for the NFL, and CBS, or not.”
Quigg went on to mention the increase in Pittsburgh Steeler Alejandro Villanueva jersey sales in the wake of this past weekend. Villanueva was the only Steelers player to leave the locker room and stand for the national anthem before the Steelers game on Sunday.
“If one uses player jersey sales as a proxy, fans appear to favor an on-field standing presence during the anthem,” Quigg noted, warning that another week of controversy and bad ratings could possibly “mobilize investors to take the potential impact more seriously.”
Reports state that NFL-related ad dollars represent 10 percent of CBS’ total revenue. Though ratings were slightly up this past weekend compared to last year, ratings from the first two weeks of the season have been down significantly. Clearly, fans are sick of watching out-of-touch millionaire NFL players disrespect our national anthem.
Now, NFL executives are scrambling to try and find a solution to this ratings downfall, and one option on the table is to cut Thursday Night Football from eighteen to ten games. Breitbart reported that this has been proposed by executives who feel fewer games may be the ticket to stop that “over-saturation.”
The plan to cut down Thursday Night Football was actually first thought up by the Sports Business Journal.
“Ten years ago, the NFL had 32 game windows through week six,” SBJ reported. “This year, it is up to 39, a 22 percent increase. It’s even more crowded in college, where the 2007 windows to this point added up to 105. This year, it’s at 179, up a whopping 71 percent.”
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