Ratings for the NFL Hall of Fame Game and induction ceremony, crashed to lows not seen since 1998.
According to Pro Football Talk via Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal:
Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Ravens register 6.78 million viewers. That’s a 17.8-percent decline from last year’s Cowboys-Cardinals game, and the smallest broadcast audience since 1998, when 6.3 million watched the Buccaneers and the Steelers.
The total audience for Saturday night’s enshrinement ceremony, simulcast on ESPN and NFL Network, dropped from 1.18 million to 1.17 million. While the difference is negligible, the 2018 class should have driven more eyes and ears.
Granted, the Cowboys will always draw a larger audience than teams like the Ravens and Bears. However, that doesn’t explain a nearly 18% drop in ratings. Also concerning is that ratings for the ceremony were down, despite the fact that popular players who have become media personalities, like Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, and Brian Urlacher, were among those getting inducted.
While Hall of Fame weekend ratings probably shouldn’t be viewed as an indicator of future television numbers, the fact that the NFL’s trend of dismal TV numbers is continuing, should definitely be of concern.