CBS also took a hit to its national coverage of the Cincinnati-Green Bay game, which attracted a 13.8 rating compared to a 13.9 rating during its week-three coverage past year. As a whole, Week 3 of this year saw a three percent bump from last year's.
The CBS NFL Today pregame show had a rating share of 3.2/8. Did this weekend's events have a dramatic effect on Sunday's games?
THE FACTS: NFL games shown to a national audience averaged 16.04 million viewers for the first two weeks of this season, down 11 percent from the 18.1 million people who watched during the same period a year ago, the Nielsen company said.
'NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN, ' Trump tweeted Sunday, prior to NBC's broadcast of Sunday Night Football. 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.
NFL teams staged a show of solidarity with protesting players before Sunday's games by kneeling, linking arms or staying off the field during the national anthem, defying President Donald Trump's call for team owners to fire those who refuse to stand.
In a gesture initiated last season by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, several National Football League players have routinely "taken one knee" during the playing of the anthem. "Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!"
The tweets doubled down on comments he made during a speech in Alabama Friday night. With attention on players kneeling during the national anthem, it's led the NFL's media partners to air the various renditions from each stadium as this has become a huge national story.
Only six players protested during the anthem in Week 2, but after Trump's criticism over the weekend, around 200 players took part on Sunday.