If the NFL's ratings troubles continue, it could cost TV networks $200 million or more

NFL lions giantsAl Bello/GettyThe Detroit Lions and New York Giants faced off on Monday Night Football in week two.

The NFL’s TV ratings were down again in week two, and a Jefferies analyst has projected that its TV partners could lose out on $US200 million or more, in earnings, if its ratings troubles persist in a double-digit way.

In week two, the NFL saw a 4% drop from 2016’s week two in live and same-day average viewers of Sunday games, and a 14% drop in viewers for Monday Night Football, according to UBS.

This comes after a dismal week one, which saw ratings drop an average of 13% from the same week in 2016.

UBS speculated that cable coverage of Hurricane Irma may have affected the NFL’s ratings in week one, but the drop in week two suggests a continued downward trend for the league’s viewership. (NFL ratings were also down an average of 8% over the course of last season.)

Jefferies analyst John Janedis told The Hollywood Reporter that CBS, ESPN, Fox, and NBC will generate around $US2.5 billion in NFL ad revenue this year, but, as Jefferies confirmed to Business Insider, a 10% drop in ratings over the course of the season could cost those networks a $US200 million cut in earnings.

While UBS speculates that it will “take several weeks of data to gauge the health of the NFL” this season, the league’s performance across most fronts in week two does not seem to bode well for its future, or for its network partners.

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