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

Kelvin Reese
September 27, 2017

The outlet reported that the average rating across all Sunday and Monday game was up 3% compared to the same week in 2016.

On a day full of criticism from Donald Trump, political protests, linked arms, players taking a knee or not coming on the field at all during the national anthem, and renewed pleas for unity from the league, NBC and the NFL took a ratings hit on Sunday Night Football.

That is an eight percent drop in viewership from the prior week's game when the Atlanta Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers, and a 10 percent drop from early numbers for last year's equivalent Sunday night game during the third week.

For the week of September 18-24, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Oakland at Washington, NBC, 17.48 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 15.64 million; "60 Minutes", CBS, 14.83 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 14.7 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick", NBC, 13.78 million; NFL Football: Detroit at N.Y. Giants, ESPN, 12.29 million; "Dancing With the Stars", ABC, 10.72 million; "Football Night in America, Part 3", NBC, 10.62 million; "Star Trek: Discovery", CBS, 9.49 million; NFL Football: L.A. Chargers at San Francisco, NFLN, 7.46 million. Fox's first pregame show, "Fox NFL Kickoff", was up 30% compared to a year ago while its second pregame show, "Fox NFL Sunday", was up 9%.

Next week's ratings will be even more closely watched, since conservative groups and Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity have called for people angered by the protests to boycott this weekend's games.

CBS' pregame show, "The NFL Today", was up 33% compared to previous year, and scored its best overnight rating since 2010.

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Among his other tweets over the last 48 hours, Trump said the ratings for NFL football were "way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!"

The biggest factor in the weekly increase was the Monday Night Football game between the Cowboys and Cardinals.

It was a tumultuous weekend for the National Football League in more ways than one. "He's fired, '" Trump told a crowd in Alabama on Friday night.

Approximately 180 players didn't stand for the anthem during Sunday's games.

During the speech he said any player who protests racism by kneeling during the national anthem is a 'son of a b****'.

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