NFL Ratings Might Be Starting to Hurt Fox’s ‘Bottom Line,’ Report Says

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
October 16, 2017US News
NFL Ratings Might Be Starting to Hurt Fox’s ‘Bottom Line,’ Report Says
Members of the Detroit Lions take a knee during the playing of the national anthem prior to the start of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field in Detroit on Sept. 24, 2017. (Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

It’s no secret ratings for NFL games have declined, but one report from CNBC suggests that Fox’s bottom line is being hit.

Credit Suisse, the Wall Street firm, lowered Fox’s price target and earnings per share forecasts for Fox. It said that Fox’s poor Sunday ratings are the cause, CNBC said.

“We trim our 2018/19 EPS forecasts … ahead of Q1 earnings,” analyst Omar Sheikh wrote in a note to clients about Fox on Thursday, Oct. 12. “The key near-term headwinds are soft NFL ratings and the risk that the Sky transaction is blocked by UK regulators.”

The company is looking to acquire 61 percent of Sky TV.

“NFL ratings [are] weak so far,” Sheikh wrote, while adding that Fox’s Sunday NFL ratings dropped by 7 percentage points year over year for the first five weeks of the season.

“This was negatively impacted during the first 2 weeks by hurricane disruption, but is disappointing given the soft comps–if ratings do not improve materially, we see a potential headwind to domestic advertising revenues in Q2/Q3 ’18,” he continued.

Last month, President Donald Trump said he would fire any player who protests during the U.S. national anthem, noting that ratings are “way down.”

“NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.,” he wrote on Twitter in September.

Twenty-First Century Fox, the parent company, will report its earnings on Nov. 8.

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