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Trump Tweets Don't Help TV Football Ratings

27 September 2017

The " matchup between the Washington and Oakland delivered a one-sided game for viewers and a weakened ratings return for NBC.

The battle over NFL ratings has exploded during Week 3 of the season with President Donald Trump tweeting that the ratings are "way down" because of athletes protesting the national anthem.

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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CBS' pregame show, "The NFL Today", was up 33% compared to a year ago, and scored its best overnight rating since 2010. For the first three "Monday Night Football" games shown on ESPN, viewership slipped 5 percent from the 11.79 million last year to 11.23 million this year, Nielsen said.

Earlier in the day, ratings for CBS' NFL doubleheader were up 4% from the same week previous year. A second segment that lasted nine minutes included "Face The Nation" host John Dickerson, an interview with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and thoughts from CBSSN's Amy Trask on "how National Football League owners should be approaching Trump's comments".

Still, the dip in audience is hardly "way down" as Trump claimed again on September 24 in a separate tweet, on a weekend when he told a rally in Alabama that NFL owners should consider "firing" any player that kneels for the national anthem in solidarity with black America.

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WHAT IT MEANS: In a world where TV viewing is increasingly fragmented and more people are watching on devices or saving programs until later, the majority of TV shows have smaller ratings than the year before. Almost every Oakland Raider sat on the bench as the national anthem played. But there was only one victim at the end of the day: the NFL.

This has become a volatile time for the National Football League, as it has to not only deal with President Trump's comments, but also added scrutiny from fans, non-fans, and the media. The protests spread rapidly this past weekend following the president's criticism of people involved. Yes, there were boos, and POTUS took aim on social media this morning, but the Cowboys made the point - and then it was on to football. The early regional game drew an 10.0 in overnights, up 11% from past year.

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Trump Tweets Don't Help TV Football Ratings