The NFL Is Losing Its Core Audience, a WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds “Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago.”
The poll shows that fans are following the sport less closely, even in key demographics, such as young men, that historically propelled the league’s growth. At the same time, parents increasingly want their children to turn away from football amid growing worry about player safety and the league’s efforts to address it.
The drop in interest spans age groups and the political spectrum—painting the picture of a sport that isn’t just experiencing a momentary dip, but a battle against fundamental questions about football’s future that have been building for years.
At a time like this, the NFL should be doing everything it can think of to strengthen its appeal to core demographics. But that isn’t quite the tack Roger Goodell has taken.