Are national anthem protests hurting the NFL TV ratings?

In the past four weeks, the NFL’s TV ratings have dropped by 11 percent. While the timeline coincides with the start of San Franchisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem, the NFL attributes the decline to viewer interest in election coverage.

NFL executives Brian Rolapp and Howard Katz penned a letter to all 32 teams explaining the situation, in response to media inquiries about the decline in ratings, which prior to this season have been consistently high.

“While our partners, like us, would have liked to see higher ratings, they remain confident in the NFL and unconcerned about a long-term issue,” said the letter from Rolapp and Katz. They added that ratings have grown by 27 percent in the last 15 years and that football “continues to be far and away the most powerful programming on television and the best place for brands and advertisers.” READ MORE.