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In 2016, the Rams’ TV Ratings Were Higher in St. Louis Than Los Angeles. LOL!

Good morning …

In Friday’s Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar dished the info on the Rams’ television ratings in their new home (Los Angeles) compared to the TV viewership in their old home (the STL.)

LA Rams owner Stan Kroenke

The TV ratings, via Caesar, tell quite a story. And I’ll add a comment after each point:

1. Fox’s rating for NFL games went down in Los Angeles this season compared to the Fox ratings in 2015.

Comment: Los Angeles must be a baseball town, eh? Los Angeles has always been, and always will be, an overrated football market. As I’ve written many times, the 1980s-era Rams team that regularly went to the playoffs and had future Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson setting rushing records averaged fewer fans per home game than the St. Louis Rams team that slogged through the worst five-season record (15-65) in NFL history.

But for some reason — probably because of LA’s massive population — the myth endures.

People assume that Los Angeles is passionate in its support of NFL football. But that isn’t the case. Yeah, the Rams’ bandwagon would fill quickly if the Rams ever gave front-running, short-attention span LA fans a reason to care for more than, say, two or three weeks. It will take a dynamic product and sustained success.

Good luck with that as long as this franchise is owned by Stan Kroenke and operated by Kevin Demoff. Since Demoff was hired as the franchise’s top executive in 2009, the Rams are 41-86-1 for a .324 winning percentage that ranks 30th among the 32 teams over the last eight seasons. Kroenke took over as the sole owner in 2011; the Rams are 33-62-1 under his, um, leadership. Kroenke’s .349 winning percentage ranks 29th among NFL owners over the past six seasons.

2. The Fox network aired 12 Rams games in Los Angeles this season; the contests averaged an 8.3 rating Nielsen rating in the nation’s second largest market. In 2015, the Rams’ lame-duck season in an alienated St. Louis market, local Fox affiliate KTVI Channel 2 posted an average 19.7 rating  for 12 Rams TV games. Caesar also pointed out that the Rams were last in the local LA ratings the final two weeks of the 2016 regular season, topped by three other games aired on Christmas weekend and by the four games carried on New Year’s Day. According to Caesar, the LA Rams’ final three games averaged a 6.9 rating in Los Angeles. Last season, the Rams’ final three games averaged a 22.0 rating in St. Louis.

Comment: St. Louis is a baseball town, right? Isn’t that what the NFL propagandists claimed when the league commissioner and other cartel bosses tried to cook up a case to justify a Rams’ move to Los Angeles? When the NFL conducted a market survey back in early 2015, the report cited baseball’s popularity here. And Kroenke and his weasel attorney mentioned baseball and the Cardinals dominance of the market when filing their dishonest relocation application. This is absolutely hysterical, how the fear of the baseball Cardinals played a significant role in the gutless decision made by the league and Kroenke to run away from Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. because they didn’t think the big, badass NFL could overtake an MLB franchise in the STL market.

3. This should surprise no one of sound mind, but NFL ratings on Fox St. Louis fell this season, down to 8.8 after averaging 13.4 in the Rams’ final season here.

Comment: Of course the ratings would decline here; this pathetic team doesn’t reside or play in St. Louis anymore. Why would the ratings stay the same? There’s no longer a local connection, no longer a reason to be loyal, and it would be ludicrous to expect fans in St. Louis to care as much about a team that was yanked out of STL in a rigged process carried out by a corrupt league and possibly the worst human being (ownership level) in sports.

Here’s the one point that matters: despite getting a raw deal from the NFL cartel and betrayed by Kroenke, a larger share of Rams fans in St. Louis watched the team’s TV games compared to the fans in Los Angeles.

That isn’t my primary takeaway…

This is: the NFL is so poorly run, it fixed a franchise relocation that resulted in TV ratings plunging in both markets … the market that lost the team, and the market that gained a franchise.

One season in, the league is making a huge pile of mess in what is supposed to be a valuable LA market.

And it’s about to get sloppier.

The Rams had a disastrous reentry into LA. The San Diego Chargers have the option to move to Los Angeles and join Kroenke in his new stadium (which is scheduled to open in 2019.) Chargers owner Dean Spanos has until Jan. 15 to choose that option, and if he declines to move to Los Angeles, the LA option transfers to the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders also have Las Vegas on hold.

So now you have two cities in limbo for the second consecutive season.

Will San Diego or Oakland lose its team?

If the Chargers move to LA, will they have an audience? They’d be a mediocre team, setting up as the No. 2 team in a two-franchise market that isn’t passionate for NFL football. And San Diego sports fans dislike LA, so how many San Diego fans would make the drive to attend a Los Angeles Chargers’ home game?

And if the Raiders move in with Kroenke’s team in Los Angeles … that’s a potentially damaging development for the Rams, because the Raiders undoubtedly would be more popular. Disagree with that? Well, consider this view from the Los Angeles Times.

And what’s the point of having two teams in LA if it means abandoning a quality NFL market in San Diego or Oakland — and risk losing even more TV ratings in the city that’s vacated? These money-grabbing franchise shuffles create perpetual uncertainty, hard feelings, are bad for business and bring down TV ratings.

Nice work, Roger Goodell.

Thanks for reading …

Bernie 

More: Miklasz – Pressure Rankings: NFL Quarterbacks Feeling the Most Heat Going Into the Playoffs

  • Dennis

    Thanks, Bernie. This sums it up perfectly: “…a team that was yanked out of STL in a rigged process carried out by a corrupt league and possibly the worst human being (ownership level) in sports.”

    The Rams will not get any better for 5 plus years. They wasted two premium first round draft picks on a mediocre QB, and it will take years to fill their offensive needs at OL and WR, during which time they will lose their few good defensive players to free agency.

    Kroenke likes to pretend he was successful separate from his marriage into the Walmart fortune in his mid 20s. Haha. He immediately began developing strip centers anchored by Walmart stores, which I’m sure he would have had the same access to without the help of his wife. He stabbed his hometown in the back and evicted poor people from his newly acquired mega-ranch, leading one tenant to commit suicide. All so he could make more “jack”, as he so eloquently puts it.

    With apologies to Sir Thomas More: It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world … but for LA, Stan?

  • TJ Kroll

    I would like to see what the STL NFL ratings were on CBS when the Chiefs were on. I know a lot of people (including myself) who jumped on the Chiefs bandwagon.

  • Terry Miles

    You reap what you sow!! They lied and connive their way to LA for what? Poor ratings, half empty stadium, and total confusion!!! Love it!! Thanks Enos and Boss Hogg for the comic relief!!! All they are missing is Roscoe P. Coltrane!

  • rightthinker4

    I for one wish the LA Rams continued success as the worse franchise in the NFL, and quite possibly in all of professional sports.

  • Eric Krone

    It is soooooo incredibly awesome to see them exposed on a National Stage. They could’ve floundered for years here in St. Louis, and only St. Louis would’ve cared. Now that they are in LA… Everyone can see what a poorly run franchise they are, and just how pathetic its’ front-men are. For the rest of my life, I want the Rams to lose every game they play; and with the move they made to get Goff (essentially trading off next year’s draft) they have absolutely NO chance to improve. That fact makes me very happy.

  • JeremyR

    Honestly, I’ve never understood how Oakland is even a separate market from SF. It’s literally on the other side of the bay.

    Yeah, there’s a cultural divide of sorts, but it’s really not as much as NY/NJ

  • Christopher Toth

    I addition to being an incredibly morally bankrupt soul, I am increasingly convinced Kroenke is suffering from blood deprivation to the brain due to toupees – lie his suits – being two sizes too small.

    Or how else can you explain confusing Demoff as the Theo Epstein of the NFL?

  • Christopher Toth

    And really, Demoff can’t even keep his story straight. He kept reiterating what a great leader of men Fisher was vis a vis the Rams.

    And now all Demoff thinks is wrong is leadership?

    How can Demoff solve anything when neither he nor Kroenke can realize they are the problem?

    Demoff is clueless about football and Kroenke treats his players – all races – as though he were a plantation owner where the idea of talking to them let alone taking a leak in the same restroom without security guards is simply something billionaires must not do.

    If LA really has any Hollywood sense, hire the Marx Bros because their ‘Day at the Rams’ would produce better comedic results than the tragedy that is the LA Rams under Kroenke & Demoff.

  • SW

    What an epic fail by the NFL. I can’t wait to see what the chargers and raiders do. The “best” case scenario would be Chargers to LA and raiders to LV.

    The NFL will then have three disaffected fan bases and two disinterested fan bases. Value destruction. Losers.

  • When Kroenke dies, what I do on his grave won’t pass for flowers.

  • Why bash LA for not following their NFL team, Bernie? It’s not like the Rams moved back there due to a referendum. The move was a “money-grabbing franchise shuffle,” like you said. Very few people were involved in the transaction. Just bankers, lawyers, legislators, NFL muckety-mucks, and Kroenke. You know, people I like to play tennis with.

  • Doug Hamilton

    Damn Bernie, I’ve spent decades agreeing and disagreeing with what you wrote, but this is a damn fine piece. 🙂

  • geoff

    My favorite sports columnist is Bernie. I hope that by next year, the rams and kronke and the rest of that dumpster fire can be put in the rear-view mirror. I would rather read Bernie Bits on Saturday morning.

  • bardofoc

    Bernie, seriously??? Well, how about trying to pull your head out of your $#$% ? I love the way you COMPLETELY IGNORED the CBS Sports article that just reported that the Rams had the SECOND HIGHEST attendance record in the league with an average of over 83,000 per game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum! That’s not bad for an “overrated” football market that still managed to come out in full force despite having a team with a losing record. And that is way better than the paltry 52,000 that came to see the Rams at the Edward Jones dome in 2015. Face it. St. Louis has lost TWO NFL franchises because your city has fairweather football fans that never committed themselves to either the Rams or the Cardinals winning records or not. All you care about is baseball, plus your streets are full of too much crime and poverty! I don’t see why any rational business owner or tourist would want to put up shop or visit your city.

    • ken

      stop projecting your own bitterness and disillusionment upon bernie and st. louis.

    • farmertheramssecretweapon

      This is too good. If Inglewood isn’t the center of crime and poverty, it’s right next door. I cannot wait to watch the la Raiders OWN that town using Kroenke’s stadium.

  • Facebook User

    I have lived in LA all my life (started following the NFL in 1976), and can tell you that this market has always been over valued. People want a winner and will only invest time into one. When is the last time Jack Nicholson has been seen at a Laker game? And with Directv and other sports packages it is easier to sit at home and watch rather than deal with LA traffic on a Sunday. LOL at Kroenke

  • CatfishRivers

    I strongly suspected the Rams would be a huge dud in LA – especially with Fisher as head coach. If the Rams hire Josh McDaniels as head coach I don’t think he will do much better than Mr. mediocrity Jeff Fisher. I do disagree with the prevailing sentiment that St. Louis should tell the NFL to stick it and forever be without an NFL team. Of course the NFL is corrupt – but it’s still a hugely popular sport that under the right conditions would be well supported in ST. Louis and be good for this region.

  • Thevan

    If Fisher wasn’t lying to the players all along, then he must’ve been asking them to lie for him. Either way, he never earned anyone’s respect. Employee’s will never reach their potential in a Kroenke organization. Now, the world knows. I love it !

  • ken

    way to unload on those SOB’s, bernie. it feels good, even if their egos render them immune to input from anywhere outside their corrupt cartel.

  • silencedogoodreturns

    good points, to be sure. But the NFL’s bottom line is $$$, not ratings. and that 8 rating in the huge LA market is worth more than the 19 in the tiny STL market. And despite all the empty seats, LA still had the second largest average attendance. Again, huge stadium.
    Still, certainly not a promising start, and perhaps a trajectory that’s going nowhere.

    • ken

      tiny? hyperbolize much?

    • Danny

      Totally agree with this – the owners aren’t dumb and are going to continue to collect big $$$ because:
      – the networks are paying them obscene $$$ for the rights to broadcast
      – advertisers are paying the networks huge money to advertise during NFL games
      – 8% of Los Angeles is a huge amount of people; too many people all over the country watch/like/waste their time on the NFL for the owners not to continue to rake in cash