NBC's Sunday night National Football League ratings dip from last year's week 3

Fox's first pregame show, "Fox NFL Kickoff", was up 30% compared to a year ago while its second pregame show, "Fox NFL Sunday", was up 9%.

WXIA fact checkers can VERIFY that ratings were lower for Sunday night's games on some networks but higher on another. As well, we should take into account that this year's Sunday-night matchup of the flagging Washington squad and the ascendant, but bound-for-Las Vegas Raiders was nowhere near as marketable as last year's game with the then-surging Dallas Cowboys, America's most popular team.

Sunday night's game between the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders scored an 11.6/20, meaning that an estimated 11.6 percent of all metered-market households watched the game and an estimated 20 percent of homes using a television at the time watched, Deadline reports.

This will be hard to explain for the people who complain about NFL protests and like to take credit for the drop in the league's television ratings: With more protests and demonstrations in Week 3 than any other week in NFL history, ratings were up.

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

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Last week, a Jefferies analyst speculated that a 10% drop in ratings over the course of the 2o17 season would go on to cut $200 million in earnings from the networks broadcasting National Football League games this year. The controversy could be bad news for television networks, if vast numbers of viewers decide to tune out all at once.

Overnight ratings can give a glimpse of which way viewership is going, but don't always tell the whole story.

Final viewership data is expected later on Monday.

The protests began last season when quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem in protest of racial injustice.

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. 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". ESPN, which also abandoned some of its usual pregame chatter to talk politics, plans to air the anthem live on "Monday Night Football".

  • Regina Holmes