NFL affirms its commitment to Chargers in L.A.

The NFL is committed to seeing the Chargers through their difficulties attracting actual Chargers fans in Los Angeles.

We pretty much knew that.

But that’s now the official word from league headquarters.

In response to an e-mailed Union-Tribune question regarding whether the 3.2 television rating for Sunday’s Chargers game in Los Angeles was the lowest ever for a home market, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said he did “not have information” on that question.

Also asked for a comment from Commissioner Roger Goodell about what he thought of his visit to the StubHub Center on Sunday, McCarthy’s reply expanded beyond the scope of the question to refute speculation about the league’s level of alarm over the cool reception the Chargers have received in their first season in L.A.

“We remain committed to and confident of the long-term success of both clubs in Los Angeles,” McCarthy wrote. “We all recognize and the club has made it clear that building a fan base will take time and won't happen overnight. But we know the Chargers are working hard in the community. The league and Commissioner are here to help play a role and last weekend was a good example.

“The commissioner was there beginning on Saturday night and met with the club's business partners. On Sunday he spent time with partners, team executives, former players and fans for three-and-a-half hours before the game, including standing with fans who invited him for the National Anthem.

“As far as chatter that the NFL is looking for ways to return the club, there have been no discussion from the league or the club about this. Those reports are false.”

Goodell was among those to witness firsthand the indifference for the Chargers in Los Angeles – and the appreciation of fans of those teams that visit L.A.’s newest NFL team.

The StubHub seats were at least 70 percent occupied by Eagles fans, making it the third straight week the Chargers felt like they were playing a road game.

Additionally, the Chargers’ 3.2 rating in L.A. barely beat out the 2.8 rating achieved for the game between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints played in London at 6:30 a.m. PT.

The Rams game at Dallas in the 10 a.m. time slot led the daytime with a 9.1, with the Raiders-Broncos game opposite the Chargers in the afternoon slot garnering a 9.0 rating. According to reports, the Colts-Seahawks matchup on “Sunday Night Football” was the top-rated game in L.A. for all of Sunday.

In San Diego, the Chargers-Eagles game got a 12.5 rating versus a 9.0 for Raiders-Broncos.

A ratings point in San Diego is equivalent to 10,028 households (28,534 people 12-and-older), according to Nielsen. In L.A., a ratings point equals approximately 53,186 households (156,916 people 12+).

The Rams averaged a 9.0 rating last season, their first in L.A.

Since 2000, the Chargers never achieved a season rating below 20 in San Diego. From 2004-2014, they were never below 26 in their home market. The high in that period was 31.6 in 2013. Last year, following two seasons of relentless news about their possible relocation, their games averaged a 24.4 rating.

Union-Tribune Sports Editor Jay Posner contributed to this report.

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