(SP) – League officials are reportedly looking into having the New England Patriots lose a lot in upcoming seasons in order to boost the NFL’s flagging TV ratings.
“New England’s Monday night loss to the Dolphins was so enjoyable to watch,” said a league office source. “You could tell on social media the joy that it brought to so many. Now imagine if that happened 10 or more times a season? The ratings would be massive.”
Internal NFL research has shown that the league’s TV ratings have dropped in the past two years at the very same time the Patriots have lost just two games last year and three this year. The Patriots had lost at least four games in the four seasons before that — all when NFL ratings were at an all-time high.
“It’s clear that America loves seeing the Patriots lose,” said NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus. “We will pay almost any sum in the next TV rights deal if we’re are given a bunch of Patriots losses on Sunday night. We will build our whole network around shots of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady looking miserable.”
The Patriots say they have not heard anything about a plan to lose games going forward.
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Bill Belichick. “Eli Manning isn’t going to be in the playoffs, so I think we’ll be fine.”