More bad news for the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. For nearly two decades we were told the NFL needed a team in LA to exploit the nation’s second-biggest television market. Well, on Saturday we got a chance to see how the league’s latest experiment would work, and the ratings were absolutely pathetic.
The Chargers and Rams faced off on CBS this weekend and was the lowest-rated nationally televised preseason game on a major network since 2004. I will repeat that, because it’s an utterly staggering fact. The Chargers and Rams played in Los Angeles on Saturday and it was watched by fewer people than any nationally-televised preseason game since the The New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts faced off in 2004.
Saturday night’s game, which had laughably low attendance, earned a 1.4 rating, with 2.2 million viewers on CBS. That number was down 42 percent from last year’s Tennessee Titans – Oakland Raiders game (2.4, 3.8 million). It was also down 53 and 55 percent respectively from the Seattle Seahawks – Chargers game from 2015 (3.0, 4.9 million).
For those who will claim the game suffered from the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, it’s worth noting that Chargers-Rams kicked off at 8 p.m. ET, and McGregor and Mayweather didn’t even get in the ring until around midnight. Additionally, official pay-per-view buys aren’t officially in, but if Dana White is right, 6.5 million people watched the fight total.
While that’s a lot of PPV buys, 18.1 million people live in the Los Angeles area alone. The fact that no one tuned in is definitely an issue for both teams and the NFL.
The Rams-Chargers matchup even lost out to the Mayweather-McGregor prelims on FOX, which drew 2.4 million viewers.
There’s no way to spin this positively. Even in Los Angeles, no one cares enough about these teams to show up or watch them in person. The Rams had decent numbers in 2016, during their first season back in Los Angeles. But there is zero indication the Chargers have anyone paying attention to them.