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NFL deals with more COVID-19 cases along with sports TV ratings decline

Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts joins Zack Guzman to discuss the NFL's ongoing struggle with COVID-19 as sports ratings drop.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: I want to highlight some news here in regards to sports. We already saw the NFL struggling to control its own spread. That happening with the Tennessee Titans. And now, the Atlanta Falcons also shutting down its facilities after one new positive COVID-19 test, straining the overall trend in the sports world, which has been not only just dealing with the pandemic but also a drop in ratings.

And for more on both of those stories, I want to get to Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts with the details. Dan.

DAN ROBERTS: Hey, Zack. Yeah, so this is according to a report from Adam Schefter. And the one case that the Falcons have is a member of the team personnel, not a player. The key there being that the NFL, for the most part, even as these cases have cropped up on various teams, they just keep testing all the players and the staff every single day. I think that's the biggest thing that some people have misunderstood during this time is they say, well, how can the teams play?

You know, Schefter also reporting that the Falcons-Vikings game on Sunday is, as of yet, unchanged. And people's reaction at first is, well, how can they not cancel yet? And that's because they test every single day. And they kind of figure, well, if we can get two days in a row with no positive tests, other than the one person we isolated, then maybe we're OK.

And the other thing I'd say you could criticize the league on so far-- it isn't that the league has played its season. I mean, there were always going to play. They knew there were going to be COVID tests. It's that really, in hindsight, the league should have baked in more bye weeks. I mean, the NFL had all the time in the world to prepare for this. They watched the other leagues. And they didn't bake in more bye weeks. Instead, every team only had one like it was a regular season.

So we'll see what happens with the Falcons. It's another example. It's a problem. But I do think the larger, more interesting story is this ratings decline. And it's not just the NFL. It's the NBA. I mean, the NBA playoffs were down 50% overall. Game 3 of the NBA Finals was the least-watched game 3 of the Finals ever. I mean, it's crazy.

MLB-- the ALCS and NLCS were down big. And then, even the Kentucky Derby, which, you know, it's only two minutes. It usually [AUDIO OUT] down 45% from last year's Derby. So it's not just an NFL problem. It's all live sports. And here we are again. It feels like four years ago with the debate over why this is happening.

And I'll give you my take. It isn't politics. That's a small but loud corner of the internet saying it's the politics. No, no, especially because, you know, MLB hasn't really done as much with the political stuff and the social justice. It's two things. One, you've got all the sports back at the same time. So ironically, there's almost too much of a good thing. You've got too many lives sports happening at once. It's a glut. They're taking away from each other.

But two, we're in an election year. There's so many distractions. There's the pandemic, and there's the election. And I should point out that four years ago, NFL ratings also dipped the exact same amount in an election year. So I think that's what's going on. There's just too much going on. And in some ways, some could argue that sports feel less important right now.