'Monday Night Football' Ratings Buck NFL Trend & Rise Over Last Week & 2016

President's criticisms spark more protests at NFL games

CBS is reporting a four percent increase from Week 3 of last season, including an 11 percent increase for their regional window during the 1pm slate of games. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country.

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

Offering at least some anecdotal evidence that the NFL's current ratings predicament is not one with a cut- and-dry cause, Monday Night Football viewership surged on Monday night - helping Week 3 of the season finish in the black, after all.

Debate over the national anthem was "a side issue" that's likely to boost ratings for sports talks shows or pre-game shows, but not affect whether people watch the actual games, said Lee Berke, president of consultant LHB Sports Entertainment & Media Inc.

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.

The president may have his theories, but explaining why ratings are down isn't simple. Or the games are getting slower with replays. 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.

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.

Certainly, an exodus by those displeased that players have been taking a knee during pre-game playing of the national anthem may have had some effect. Together, the pregame shows on CBS and Fox saw a 19 percent increase compared to past year. It's an 8% dip from the early numbers of last week's game, Atlanta's 34-23 win over Green Bay. They're likely to be up overall for the week after Monday night's game, he said.

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