Falcons’ local TV ratings decline 7%, rank 26th in NFL

A fourth consecutive losing season took a toll on the Falcons’ local television ratings.

The ratings for telecasts of Falcons games declined 7% in the Atlanta TV market for the 2021 regular season, bucking a trend that saw 21 of the NFL’s 32 teams post ratings increases in their local markets, according to a Sports Business Journal analysis of league-wide data published Monday.

The Falcons were 26th in the NFL in local ratings, the study showed. Their 14.52 rating in the Atlanta market, down from 15.64 for the 2020 season, translated to an average audience of about 385,000 households per game.

The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs posted the NFL’s highest ratings in their home markets for the 2021 regular season, according to the SBJ data: 47.16 and 45.28, respectively.

The six teams with lower local ratings than the Falcons were the Houston Texans (12.26), Miami Dolphins (11.84), Los Angeles Rams (10.52), Los Angeles Chargers (8.49), New York Giants (8.39) and New York Jets (7.12). Four teams averaged ratings above 40 and 15 above 25.

The rating is the number of households, out of every 100 in a market, that watch the telecasts on average.

The Texans had the largest ratings decrease from the 2020 season, down 18%, and the Chargers had the largest increase, up 25%.

The Falcons finished the 2021 season with a 7-10 record, following a 4-12 mark in 2020 and 7-9 in both 2019 and 2018.