To come up with overnight ratings, Nielsen takes the percentage of households watching in 56 USA markets and comes up with an overnight average - so an 11.6, for instance, means that 11.6% of households in those 54 markets tuned into the game on NBC on Sunday night.
The NFL's Sunday Night Football ratings were down again after a weekend in which President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the league's players for kneeling during the national anthem. (Last year's Week 3 Monday night game featured the less popular New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.) Indeed, there are many factors affecting week-to-week and year-to-year NFL ratings that have nothing to do with protests or even with football itself. On the other hand, CBS said its Sunday games were up 4 percent from 2016. As a former-some might say current-television personality, Trump knows that falling ratings lead to a decline in advertising revenue for companies like CBS, NBC and Fox, the NFL's major national television broadcasters.
Week 3's Sunday slate was also entertaining with eight of the 10 afternoon games sailing over the total set by the sportsbooks.
The president tweeted over the weekend: "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN". The NFL Today on CBS scored its highest rating since 2010, the newspaper reported, but viewership of the live games themselves still depended on the quality of the action and the teams involved.
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Average attendance at regular season National Football League games a year ago was the highest since 2007, when the National Football League set an all-time record in attendance.
On the surface, it appeared the NFL's viewers were in for yet another humdrum matchup to kickstart Week 3 when the Los Angeles Rams were slated to take on the rival San Francisco 49ers.
Trump even went so far as to try to persuade National Football League fans to 'refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country'.
The 2017 figures don't include this week's Monday night game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. "He's fired, '" Trump told a crowd in Alabama on Friday night.