A huge 'Monday Night Football' boosted NFL ratings, despite Trump comments

New England Patriots kneeling during the National Anthem before a game on Sunday. Credit Jim Rogash  Getty Image

In a story September 25 about National Football League ratings, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the 16.04 million average viewership for National Football League games this year took only Sunday afternoon games into account.

The drop in ratings comes after amid a growing dispute between the NFL and President Donald Trump regarding players refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem. CBS' lineup Sunday included the Green Bay Packers' overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

But CBS' overnight ratings were up 4% compared to last year's week 3 coverage.

The CBS NFL Today pregame show had a rating share of 3.2/8.

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.

"Overall, according to the NFL, Week 3 ratings were slightly higher than Week 3 in 2016", CNN reported.




The early ratings numbers, which are incomplete and subject to a great deal of change, showed CBS' numbers up compared to the same week previous year, while NBC and Fox's numbers were down.

It was a tumultuous weekend for the National Football League in more ways than one. The controversy could be bad news for television networks, if vast numbers of viewers decide to tune out all at once.

Trump and others have professed that the NFL's ratings are down due to players kneeling, sitting or raising their fist during the national anthem. Additionally, CBS' NFL Today pregame show scored its highest rating since 2010.

The Week 3 MNF football game this year saw a 9.3 rating, compared to a 5.7 rating in Week 3 of 2016-that's a 63 percent increase and a 3.6 percentage point difference. 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".

At some games Sunday, players kneeled in large numbers during the anthem and were critical of Trump's comments.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who donated money to Trump's campaign, said he was "deeply disappointed" in the president on Sunday.

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