When the NFL asked if football fans were going to watch the Super Bowl, apparently Black America responded: “Who all gon’ be there?”
Besides being a low-scoring debacle that looked like the illegitimate love child of a soccer match and a Little League hockey game, the traveshamockery of a Super Bowl also was the lowest-rated NFL title games in 10 years. And the reason for the dismal ratings might be due to black people tuning out of the game.
The Washington Post reports that the NFL’s big game scored a 44.9 rating, making it the lowest-watched super Bowl since 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Arizona Cardinals. The drop in viewership also marks a 5.2 percent decline since last year.
One of the reasons the game drew such a measly rating is because of the low amount of viewers in New Orleans, whose hometown Saints was cheated out of a chance to play in the championship game after a referee was struck by temporary selective blindness in the fourth quarter of the NFC title game.
The city, which is 60 percent black, drew a paltry 26 rating, less than half the number of New Orleanians who watched the game last year. Many black viewers boycotted the broadcast in support of blackballed NFL player Colin Kaepernick while others merely voiced their support for Colin Kaepernick but could understandably not be expected to sacrifice watching a glorified rugby match.
Plagued by mediocre performances from the half of Outkast that no one wants to see, Travis Scott-Kardashian and some white dude whose songs sound vaguely familiar, CBS proudly announced that the broadcast reached 100 million viewers. But CBS’s claim only comes from what Deadline calls a “very unique bundling spin”—by combining the network’s numbers with CBS streaming, NFL streaming, Verizon streaming, ESPN Deportes television and other digital properties. I’m pretty sure they also counted the people who talked on CB radios and anyone who ate bowls of soup last night.
Because cable boxes, streaming devices and DVRs give cable companies immediate viewership numbers, networks no longer depend solely on Nielsen numbers for rating. The changes in ratings technology mean that widespread television boycotts can have an impact, even when black homes aren’t included in the small Nielsen sample size that traditionally measured ratings.
Although the game featured one of the most populous cities in America facing off against the city most likely to call someone the n-word (sorry, every city in Mississippi), the league upheld its tradition of sidestepping any indication of racial strife by inviting actual negroes to participate in the broadcast. Gladys Knight opened the low-rated spectacle by singing the national anthem while Rosa Parks turned over in her grave. And while I haven’t seen footage of the halftime show, I imagine it was a lot of white people acting very excited while Maroon 5 proved some of their best friends are black by bringing them on stage to sing one verse of a black song that white people enjoy while the guitar player in the background stomped and waved his ample hair.
Colin Kaepernick could not be reached for comment.