NFL Ratings Down 11 Percent After Three Weeks: Nielsen

NFL Ratings Down 11 Percent After Three Weeks: Nielsen
Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the national anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
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NFL games so far in 2017 have seen an overall decline in TV ratings.

After three weeks, viewership of national NFL telecasts have dropped 11 percent compared with the ratings in 2016.

And the overall NFL ratings from 2016 declined 8 percent from the 2015 numbers.
Last season, the games averaged 17.63 million viewers for the first three weeks—and they’ve now dipped to 15.65 million for 2017, Nielsen said on Wednesday, reported CBS.

The NFL’s ratings have become a topic of President Donald Trump’s tweets. He said that the decline in viewership is due to players protesting during the national anthem before games, alienating fans. There have also been calls for boycotting NFL games until players stop taking knees.

The protests were started by former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee to protest against police brutality and racial inequality.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Sunday Night Football” saw its ratings dip from the previous year. The NBC matchup between Oakland and Washington averaged an overnight 11.6 rating among households, which was down 11 percent from scores a year ago and 9 percent from the week before.

Several teams, like the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots, said that they’ll stand for the anthem from now on.

“Spoke to Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday. Jerry is a winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!” he wrote Tuesday.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who didn’t protest during the anthem, said he regrets not being out on the field during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The entire Pittsburgh team was in the stadium tunnel as the anthem played.

“The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently,” he wrote. “We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.”
The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback added that the team will be on the field in the future.
“I just felt like I wish that we would have been on the field. That’s just my personal feeling on it. I’m entitled to that opinion. That’s what great about this country and what the troops are for,” he told ESPN. “Moving forward, we will be on the field. What we do while we’re out there is yet to be determined.”