More bad news for the National Football League: In a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos, 54 percent of respondents said brands should drop their sponsorship of the NFL, including 30 percent who said those severed ties should be permanent. Only 20 percent said the brands should do nothing. There was a perhaps predictable gender split in the responses, with 58 percent of women and 49 percent of men urging sponsors to dump the NFL over its bungled domestic violence scandals.
And some good news for the league: Almost 80 percent of respondents said they will continue to watch or attend NFL games. In fact, the NFL's televised viewership is up so far this year, according to Nielsen, to more than 18 million people a week, from last season's average viewership of 17.4 million people.
One poll respondent, 79-year-old Curvin Rohler of Henderson, Nevada, captures the mixed message the public is sending. "The only way to hurt the NFL and get its attention is with money," he said. But "it hasn't gotten to the point to where I would not watch it."