We have never seen a week where more people were interested in NFL television viewership.
You can thank President Donald Trump for that.
Among his other tweets over the last 48 hours, Trump said the ratings for NFL football were “way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!”
The final viewership numbers based on projections from Fox Sports vice president of research Mike Mulvihill are that the NFL games from Sunday and Monday were up 3% in aggregate over Week 3 in 2016. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy also confirmed those numbers.
On Tuesday afternoon, CBS said its NFL coverage on Sunday drew 17.9 million viewers, up 2% from a year ago.
The biggest factor in the weekly increase was the Monday Night Football game between the Cowboys and Cardinals. The game drew a 9.3 overnight rating, well over last year’s game between the Falcons and Saints, which was the least-watched Monday Night Football game on record (5.7) because it went up against the first Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton Presidential debate last year. It was also up over 2015 (the Packers-Chiefs drew an 8.9 overnight) and 2014 (the Bears-Jets drew a 9.2 rating).
Late Tuesday afternoon, Robert Seidman of Sports TV Ratings reported that the Cowboys-Cardinals game drew 13.691 million viewers on ESPN, way up over 8.0 million viewers for the Week 3 Monday Night Football game last year and Packers/Chiefs in 2015 (13.5 million).