Less People Watched Football In Los Angeles After Rams Moved There Than Before

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2016, file photo, surrounded by empty seats Los Angeles Rams fans watch their team play the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Los Angeles. While overall attendance in the NFL is up _ credit in great part the Rams’ move from St. Louis to Los Angeles _ those empty seats you see in several stadiums are no mirage.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

The move for the Rams back to Los Angeles from St. Louis this season was intended to bring life in the franchise that had had the worst record over 10 years out of any team in the NFL. Football has been in LA before, but could it work again? We may have our answer after only one year.

Beyond attendance at the LA Coliseum dropping over the course of the season itself, according to the final television ratings after 16 games, fewer people tuned into watch the NFL this year, when the city had a professional football team, then last year, when they didn’t.

Nielsen reports that 8 percent of homes in the LA market tuned in to Fox’s NFL telecasts this season — down from 8.3 percent in 2015, when the Rams were in St. Louis. These figures are for all NFL games shown on Fox, not just those of the Rams. Officials of that network were not available for comment.


Fox carried 12 Rams games this season in LA, and those averaged an 8.3 rating. In St. Louis the previous season, where the team still was playing, Fox affiliate KTVI (Channel 2) averaged a 19.7 rating for its 12 Rams telecasts.

CBS has one Rams telecast in Los Angeles this season and its rating for the season there was down 4 percent over 2015.

Perhaps the most telling statistic: Not only were there numerous times this season that the Rams’ contest wasn’t even the top-rated NFL game of the week in LA, the Rams were last in the ratings the final two weeks of the season. They were beaten by the three other games shown on Christmas weekend and by the four other contests on New Year’s Day. Included in that group are three matchups that began at 10 a.m. local time — the Rams began in the more attractive 1:25 p.m. slot in both instances.

The team’s last three games while doing business in Missouri averaged a 22.0 rating. The Rams’ last three games this season had a combined rating of 20.7 in Los Angeles (6.9 average).