NFL players protesting the national anthem continues to drag down the league.
Fans are furious and some sponsors are pulling their ads.
But one number had NFL executives realizing just how much trouble they were in.
League executives put on a brave face after last week when ratings were up by three percent.
But this was in large part due to the massive bump in the Monday night football rating from 2016.
That’s because the week three Monday night game in 2016 went head-to-head with the first Presidential debate between Clinton and Trump.
Week four would tell the tale as to how ratings would hold in the wake of Trump’s call for fans to turn off the games after anti-American players ratcheted up their anthem protests.
The numbers are in and the NFL is in a panic.
Viewership for the Monday night matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs plummeted from 2016.
“The NFL allowed players to use the league’s national stage to disgrace the flag and the anthem. The NFL also chose to take the players side against the leader of the free world, when he rightfully called those players out. As a result, it appears the league may have done irreparable harm to its brand.
The ratings for Monday Night Football on ESPN tanked hard in Week 4.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, “Coming off last week’s Dallas Cowboys’ 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, where the ratings actually went up for MNF, last night’s game was not a victory for the Disney-owned cable giant nor the NFL in the early numbers.
“Against a packed Big 4 primetime, MNF snared an 8.4 in metered-market numbers. That’s down 10% from the Cowboys and Cardinals game of September 25. Year-to-year, the Chiefs’ fourth straight win this season dipped 8% in the early numbers from the comparable Minnesota Vikings’ 24-10 win over the New York Giants on October 3, 2016 – a season of sliding ratings that the NFL wants to forget, but may repeat.”
Fewer players protested in week four than week three – 180 knelt last week compared to just a fraction of that this week – but the damage was done.
And during the Monday night games, three members of the Chiefs knelt or sat for the anthem despite it being played in the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas where 59 Americans were murdered and over 500 were injured.
It was a shocking display of disrespect.
But it was par for the course in the newly politicized NFL.