The ratings are out for Thursday’s preseason game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneersand Jacksonville Jaguarsand they’re as bad as one would expect, possibly worse. The matchup of perennial non-playoff qualifiers earned a 1.6 and 2.6 millions viewers, per Sports Media Watch.
It’s the lowest ratings for a nationally televised NFL preseason game since 2005, when a tape-delayed Colts-Falcons contest drew a 1.5. A year prior, a Jets-Colts game notched a 1.3.
Much was made of the NFL’s ratings dip last year. Conventional wisdom is that we’ll see an uptick come fall. All the caveats are obvious. The preseason is always a tough sell, the Jaguars aren’t particularly interesting, it was a Thrusday, etc., so there’s no reason for league and network execs to think the sky is falling.
If anything, we can say the Bucs’ Hard Knocks appearance isn’t immediately translating to wider interest on gamedays.