The NFLâs television ratings were a mixed bag on Sunday after President Trumpâs harsh rebuke of players who kneel during the national anthem kicked off an unprecedented wave of new protests.
Dozens of players from the NFLâs 32 teams staged renewed demonstrations after Trump repeatedly slammed the protests as a sign of âtotal disrespectâ for the American flag and its veterans. The NFL and nearly every one of its 32 team owners issued statements condemning Trumpâs comments.
Fox and CBS, the NFLâs television partners for Sunday day games, each saw a spike in viewership for pregame coverage that overwhelmingly focused on Trumpâs handling of the situation.
âFOX NFL Kickoff,â which aired from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, posted a 1.3 overnight rating, up 30% from last year. Viewership of âFox NFL Sunday,â which airs from 12 p.m. until kickoff at 1 p.m., saw a 9% increase to a 3.7 rating. Foxâs game broadcast drew a 10.3 rating, down 16% from Week 3 last year.
CBSâ âThe NFL Todayâ pregame show saw its best rating since 2010, with a 3.2 overnight rating that marked a 33% increase from the same day one year ago. The network says its overall game coverage was up 4%, with an average rating of 11.9.
In primetime, NBC said ratings for its Sunday night broadcast of the Washington Redskinsâ victory over the Oakland Raiders was down compared to Week 3 last season.
Complete viewership data is expected later Monday.