NFL Ratings Down Nationally in Wake of Protests, But Up Locally

NFL Ratings Down Nationally in Wake of Protests, But Up Locally

National Football League ratings were also down an average of 8% over the course of last season.

Here in the Stateline, preliminary ratings indicate that National Football League viewership is up.

It's hard to take seriously any claim that people boycotting the NFL because of protests are responsible for the decline in NFL ratings - and for everyone who says they won't watch the NFL because players kneel during the anthem, there are others who say they won't watch the NFL because Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned - after what we saw in Week 3.

However, as NBC points out in their article, the Monday night Cowboys game greatly skews the ratings because last year's Week 3 game had to compete with a presidential debate. Overnight ratings for its singleheader slate of games were down 16% compared to last year's week 3 numbers. This week's game also posted lower initial ratings than weeks one and two, NBC said.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" game, the Washington Redskins' lopsided 27-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders, nabbed an 11.6 overnight rating compared to a 12.9 rating for a match-up between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys one year ago. Week-to-week, last night's MNF was up 7% over the Detroit Lions' 24-10 crushing of the New York Giants on September 18, which was up over the season opener the week before.

IFAB to lift poppy ban after Federation Internationale de Football Association revises provisions over shirt use
The new rule will reportedly go through ahead of England's upcoming friendly against Germany, which will be played on November 10. The new law is expected to be in place for November's global games, a period that incorporates Remembrance weekend.

What saw the biggest bump on Sunday was the pregame coverage on the networks, with CBS reporting a 33 percent increase in viewership for The NFL Today compared to last season. Both networks tackled the political news of the weekend.

NFL teams staged a show of solidarity with protesting players before Sunday's games by kneeling, linking arms or staying off the field during the national anthem, defying President Donald Trump's call for team owners to fire those who refuse to stand. Those opposed to the protests have said it is disrespectful to the military and flag.

NBC's ratings numbers do not include digital and live streaming.

Many of the Washington Redskins took a knee before Sunday night's game against the visiting Oakland Raiders. Fox "addressed the subject in the same manner as its competitors", beginning their show with a "quick preview of the upcoming Week 3 games before heading immediately into Trump's comments (they did bleep the word "bitch") and statements and tweets from National Football League executives and players".

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