The NFL playoffs can’t come quickly enough for Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The NFL’s regular season ended last weekend with its worst full-season viewership decline ever.
The number of TV viewers tuning into the league’s 108 national telecasts fell 9.7 percent from the previous season.
The decline brought the average TV audience per game to 14.9 million — down from 16.5 million the previous season, according to Nielsen.
That’s the lowest number of viewers per game in nine years — since an average 14.6 million fans tuned in during the 2008 season.
TV viewership of the once-seemingly invincible league is down nearly 17 percent in two years. During the 2015 season, an average of 17.9 million viewers tuned in.
That means Goodell’s NFL, which can still boast the most popular sport in the US, nonetheless lost an average 1.6 million fans per game last season — like having 21 games played in an empty stadium.
The decline has been a topic of national discussion since Week 1 — with kneeling-player protests during the national anthem, poor play, concussion controversies and oversaturation of TV games among the most-cited causes for the fan revolt.
The 9.7 percent decline in TV viewership last season is greater than the 7.8 percent decline in 2016 from the previous season, statistics show.
In 2012, viewership was off 5.1 percent from 2011.
The viewership decline last season likely means that the NFL’s media partners — ESPN, Fox, NBC and CBS — had to make good on commercials to advertisers.
It also meant they all made a lot less money on NFL deals. Each network pays more than $1 billion a year to air NFL games.
As for the playoffs, starting this weekend, they were among the NFL’s most-watched programs in 2017.