'Sunday Night Football' ratings were down following Trump's controversial NFL comments, and player protests

Sunday night footballRob Carr/GettyNBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ game between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins.

As President Donald Trump made a series of controversial comments against the hundreds of NFL players who knelt during the national anthem in games over the weekend, NBC’s broadcast of “Sunday Night Football” saw a significant drop in ratings compared to its week three game in 2016.

The “Sunday Night Football” match-up between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins was down around 12.9% compared to last year’s game in the same week, according to Reuters.

The ratings drop comes in the wake of Trump’s comments, starting at an Alabama rally on Friday, where he sparked controversy and condemnation by saying that players who knelt in protest of the national anthem should be “fired.”

On Sunday, Trump tweeted about the NFL’s ratings woes amid his clash with the NFL, writing, “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”

The NFL has been suffering from repeated year-over-year declines in ratings. In the first week of this season, the league saw a 12% decline in ratings, which was followed by a 15% drop in week two, year-over-year, according to Nielsen.

NFL ratings were down an average of 8% over the course of last season.

Last week, a Jefferies analyst speculated that a
10% drop in ratings over the course of the 2o17 season would go on to cut $US200 million in earnings from the networks broadcasting NFL games this year.

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