Initial Week 3 ratings for NFL is down, but will be up after Monday Night Football.

By Jimmy Traina
September 25, 2017

How did the controversy surrounding Donald Trump and national anthem protests affect the NFL's ratings for Week 3?

As of Monday morning, it's a mixed bad. Ratings for Sunday's games on CBS, FOX and NBC were down four percent over Week 3 in 2016. However, when the rating for the Cowboys-Cardinals game, to be played Monday night on ESPN, gets factored in, Week 3 of this season is expected to be up over last season.

With the networks making the unusual move to air the national anthem live before all games, CBS and FOX saw big increases for their respective pregame shows. CBS' The NFL Today had its highest rating (3.2) since 2010.

In addition to curiosity about players kneeling during the anthem, CBS and FOX benefited from many wild games and finishes in both the early and late windows.

CBS's overall game coverage was up four percent from last year's Week 3, averaging an 11.9 rating compared to 11.4 last season. The network's Bengals-Packers game overtime game was the highest-rated game on any network this week, netting a 13.8 rating.

However, NBC's Sunday night game between the Raiders and Redskins was anything but exciting and the rating reflected that.

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