NFL blames election for drop in TV ratings

Cleveland Browns' Joe Thomas takes the field for an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct 18, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As people across Oregon and Washington are experiencing “voter fatigue”, a new report suggests the dramatic election season is even impacting an American pastime: Sunday Night Football.

The report on claims both the NFL Players Association and NFL management agree the election is to blame for a drop in football ratings on TV.

Football fan Lyle McCuistion told KOIN 6 News he’s opted to pay more attention to his favorite candidate instead of his favorite sport as election day nears.

“Everybody should be paying attention to what’s going on in the country, and the NFL isn’t that important in the overall scheme,” McCuistion said.

The highly-watched presidential debates also took many eyeballs off NFL games, but clever businesses like On Deck Sports Bar & Grill in the Pearl District found a way to bring customers in.

“We split the restaurant,” On Deck bartender Joe Gianchino said. “Half of them watched the debate and the other watched football. You’d have people, like a couple, one would want to watch football, the other would want to watch the debate.”

Some blame the World Series for a decline in NFL viewership.

“That was a once in a generation type of event,” Jorge Caravia said. “I’m not a big baseball fan and I watched the games.”

It could be the nice weather that’s keeping people away from their TVs, another person theorized, or a new reliance on smartphones to keep up with sports scores.

But not everyone is letting the election keep them from following their favorite football teams, and despite the report, Gianchino says business is doing just fine. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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