Professional Sports Experienced Steep Fall in Ratings and Revenue in 2020

January 1, 2021 Updated: January 1, 2021

Sports industry profits dropped by billions of dollars in 2020 across major leagues as the CCP virus pandemic caused stadiums to close up.

Despite larger amounts of people staying home due to lockdowns, TV ratings also plummeted remarkably—to about an average of half of last year’s figure.

Front Office Sports reported that the league that suffered the greatest was the MLB at $5.2 billion. The league was widely criticized for appeasing to the Marxist-inspired Black Lives Matter and other leftist movements.

Following the baseball league, the NFL suffered the second-biggest losses at $2.7 billion, followed by the NBA, which missed projections by $1.5 billion.

The sports outlet also reported that TV ratings dropped hard compared to 2019. U.S. Open golf viewership dropped by 56 percent and the Stanley Cup by 60 percent. The NBA finals and U.S. Open tennis dropped by nearly half of ratings from last year.

The WSJ reported that TV networks have been struggling to make up for the poor ratings and needed to re-negotiate deals with advertisers.

Gibbs Haljun, investment lead at WPP PLC ad-buying firm Mindshare, told the WSJ: “Even as surefire as the NFL has been—and the last couple years, NFL ratings stood up much better than network prime-time ratings—we are now in a situation where the NFL is declining.”

NBC was hit hard by the sharp decline in ratings. An ad during a Ravens-Steelers match formerly cost $1 million for a half a minute, but it only drew 11 million viewers during NBC’s Thanksgiving broadcast, about half the viewership compared to 2019.

According to WSJ, some advertisers didn’t have to pay to air their ads because NBC had to make up for the poor ratings of previous games.

“We’ve worked with every one of our partners individually to find what works best for them,” an NBC Sports spokesman told the WSJ. “We will have delivery solutions for all of our NFL advertisers this season.”