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 whatever reasons people choose to attribute to the NFL's ratings stumble, now more than a year old and something that will surely continue this season, it is not a problem that can really be diagnosed over a single weekend - let alone one game. 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". CBS' later game drew a 13.8, down 1% from past year. Did MORE people tune in because of the protests? Amid cheers and boos from fans at FedEx Field in Maryland last night, the third week of the SNF season declined 10% from early numbers of the comparable game of past year on September 25, 2016.
For football fans, though, chances are they were attracted by better games. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Jerry Jones, Cowboys take a knee before National AnthemOther people we spoke with disagreed, saying the keeling protest is not in disrespect for the American flag, but about something else. "That's part of what makes America great".
For now, the NFL's broadcast partners are not seeing the same audience boost that other media outlets, from CNN to the New York Times, witnessed after Trump criticized them.
The NFL said Monday it hadn't seen any business impact - positive or negative - in the aftermath of the president's comments. That may be partly due to the fact the National Football League isn't doing investigative journalism about the Trump administration or because of the diverse political makeup of National Football League fans.