NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' Ratings Take Hit Amid Player Protests

27 September, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Gary Shelton
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Did national anthem protests and President Trump's harsh criticism of them hurt the NFL's ratings on Sunday?

NBC said 11.6 percent of households tuned into the game, down from 12.9 percent who viewed the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys in last season's week three. 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%. In fact, the presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton caused the Week 3 MNF game in 2016 to have its lowest viewership in at least 25 years. In a tweet sent right before Sunday's games, the president said "NFL attendance and ratings are way down".

Overall, the Redskins 27-10 victory was down 9 percent compared to last week's matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons, and 11 percent when compared to last year's Week 3 Sunday night game on NBC.

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The networks saw huge boosts for their pregame shows, though.

Trump's comments led to plenty of discussion on the National Football League pregame shows on Sunday and continues to be heavily covered on not just the sports networks, but the news networks as well. The controversy could be bad news for television networks, if vast numbers of viewers decide to tune out all at once.

The issue began when President Trump suggested NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired. NFL pregame ratings on CBS and Fox were "significantly higher" on Sunday in comparison with previous weekends, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday, when purely football-related topics were discussed.

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Trump even went so far as to try to persuade National Football League fans to 'refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country'.

During 'Monday Night Football, ' a lot of people were glued to the TV, but it wasn't just the game keeping their attention tonight. The show began with a shot of the sidelines of the Ravens-Jaguars game in London that had already started, followed by cast intros and host Sam Ponder "introducing Trump's "son of a bitch" comment (with no bleeps) at an Alabama rally".

The Nielsen figures also don't include numerous Sunday afternoon games that are shown to a regional audience, but not a national one.

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