It seems that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is must-see TV across the nation and not just in Kansas City.
The NFL’s television ratings have rebounded in 2018, and executives are giving part of the credit to Mahomes.
According to NBC News, the ratings are up about 3 percent through five games this season compared to the same period in 2017. NBC noted that the NFL viewership dropped 9.7 percent in the 2017 regular season as some fans were upset about players who protested about police brutality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. In 2016, the regular season had an 8 percent decline.
So what’s behind the increased numbers this season? Three executives who spoke with John Ourand of that Sports Business Journal mentioned Mahomes by name.
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“I sense more excitement about this season because of some of the storylines,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told Ourand. “Going into the season, the young quarterbacks were a very good storyline. It’s happening in Kansas City, where Patrick Mahomes is an attractive storyline.”
Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports, told the SBJ: “It’s pent-up demand. Live television matters more than ever. Old stars are back and playing well. New stars are emerging like Mahomes and Giants RB Saquon Barkley.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitario agreed with the storylines on young quarterbacks like Mahomes. Pitario also mentioned an iconic play by the Chiefs quarterback.
“What’s fascinating, and I think of often when I’m watching as a spectator, is that we provide a platform for these iconic moments,” Pitaro told SBJ. “Mahomes’ left-handed throw against the Broncos was quintessential ‘Monday Night Football.’ As soon as it happened, you knew it was going to take on a life of its own.”
You can read more about what the TV executives had to say here.