Is All Publicity Good Publicity? A Sentiment Analysis of Media Regarding Concussions in the NFL and its Effects on Viewership


  • Sebastian Barrera Bergen County Technical High School - Teterboro
  • Daniel Olivo Bergen County Technical High School – Teterboro



concussion, Sentiment Analysis, NFL, MeaningCloud, media, viewership


With the increase in the rate of concussions within the National Football League (NFL), as well as an increase in studies finding the long-term effects of these concussions, there has been growing interest garnered by the media on the NFL’s concussion protocol. Other studies would suggest that these portrayals by the media, if negative, would impact the league's viewership; however, with no research done on the topic, this claim was unsupported. To determine this relationship, this study conducts a sentiment analysis using MeaningCloud Software on statements made within the years 2017 through 2021 regarding NFL concussions/concussion protocol, which was then compared to the average viewership of its corresponding season. Throughout the entirety of the years analyzed, MeaningCloud analyzed that 49 of the 99 statements about NFL concussions/concussion protocol were deemed to have negative polarity (49.5%), while only 24 had positive polarity (24.24%), conveying a very large disparity in the media coverage. These results disagreed with the current ideals that negative portrayals can impact enjoyment (therefore viewership), and could speak to the strength of the NFL’s business model.


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How to Cite

Barrera, S., & Olivo, D. (2023). Is All Publicity Good Publicity? A Sentiment Analysis of Media Regarding Concussions in the NFL and its Effects on Viewership. Journal of Student Research, 12(3).



AP Capstone™ Research