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The Impact of National Anthem Protests on National Football League Television Ratings

Judah Brown and Brandon Sheridan ()

Journal of Sports Economics, 2020, vol. 21, issue 8, 829-847

Abstract: The National Football League’s (NFL) television ratings decreased by approximately 8% during the 2016 season, then a further 10% the following season. These declines coincided with league-wide national anthem protests initiated by Colin Kaepernick at the beginning of the 2016 season. Existing research identifies many determinants of demand for sporting events, but athletes’ protests are seldom considered. We use detailed data on players’ protests and television ratings to construct a new, game-level panel for the four NFL seasons between 2014 and 2017. Our results show protests are statistically significantly associated with lower TV ratings, but the economic magnitude is relatively muted.

Keywords: national anthem protest; national football league; television ratings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:jospec:v:21:y:2020:i:8:p:829-847

DOI: 10.1177/1527002520944452

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