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NFL Kickoff ratings drop for second-straight year, lowest in 9 years

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People had other priorities in mind.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The NFL season opener between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs should have been a big audience draw because of the Chiefs big upset win. Instead, NBC drew a 14.6 overnight rating, according to Sports Business Daily’s Austin Carp, the “lowest NFL Kickoff since 2009” between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans and their 12.8 rating.

This also marked the second-straight decline in ratings for the Kickoff game, from 17.7 with the Patriots and Steelers in 2015, to 16.5 with the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, and now to 14.6.

The nation’s focus on Hurricane Irma certainly played a role as many were more concerned about far more important issues than football, much like how the country’s attention on the election for the start of the 2016 season also led to reduced ratings for the NFL in the first half of the year.

We will see if the league’s ratings rebound in the coming months, or if we’ve actually reached a point where the league is no longer able to sustain its growth rate.