NFL 2020 ratings: Reasons for lower ratings - Sports Illustrated

Fox Has an NFL Ratings Problem, but It's Not What You Think: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. NFL ratings were all over the place in Week 1, with Sunday afternoon doing big numbers while prime-time games were down.

And because we live in a deranged time where we are as divided as ever, people now use NFL ratings as a political weapon. 

Of course if you're rational, you understand that when ratings are down for something, especially sports, it's not because of one factor. It's because of multiple factors.

That leads us to Fox Sports executive vice president, head of strategy, Michael Mulvilhill.

Mulvihill shared some insight Thursday into the NFL ratings game with a very good  Twitter thread.

This is a great, well-thought out, informative, fact-based thread. It's all right there in black and white. 

That means all of this is completely useless to those pushing the narrative that the NFL is in trouble because of lower ratings.

And by "those," I mean Fox News, people who work for Fox and the person in the White House who gets all his news and information from the cable news network. So you have one leg of the company explaining why the NFL ratings are still solid while another leg wants you to believe the league is about to go out of business because players are speaking out about social justice.

Think about the insanity of this situation. Here you have a top Fox Sports executive defending the NFL ratings while Fox News pushes the narrative that NFL ratings are in the tank.

Talk about being divided ...

2. This was a great moment Thursday night: Fox surpred Joe Buck with the announcement that he will receive the Pete Rozelle Award at next year's Hall of Fame ceremony.

Buck's wife, ESPN's Michelle Beisner-Buck, also shared a touching message of congratulations.

3. Josh Donaldson was unhappy with a couple of calls from the home plate umpire Thursday, so he hit a home run and then kicked dirt on home plate when he got there after rounding the bases, which led to one of the more amusing ejections you'll see.

4. Broncos tight end Jake Butt has probably heard it all thanks to his last name, so it would make sense for him to go on the offense and join in on the fun.

5. TNT wanted Kevin Harlan to call the Western Conference finals for TNT, but it couldn't happen. He explains why and discusses much more on the latest SI Media Podcast. The veteran play-by-play man also talks about why the NBA bubble has worked, reveals which sport is harder to call without fans in the stands, getting a new broadcast partner, how he takes care of his voice, whether he's ever affected by calling a lower-priority NFL game, the art of making a big call and much more. 

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: If you'd like to watch the full star-studded table read for Fast Times At Ridgemont High, you can do that here. If you just want the best two-minute snippet, watch below.

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: In my opinion, this is Joe Buck's greatest call.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.