Ratings for Sunday's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennesse Titans were down in the Seattle market. But how much of that was due to people changing the channel because of NFL protests may never be fully known.
The game received a 35.8 rating and 68 share. (Editor's note: The initial overnight rating was 34.5 with a share of 67, but that was based on when the game was scheduled to end. The game went long and the numbers were adjusted Tuesday morning.) A rating is the percent of the total households with a TV in a market watching a particular program. A share means the percentage of households that were turned on at that time were tuned into that program. So, 34.5 percent of all households in the Seattle market were on the Seahawks game. Sixty-seven percent of all households that had the TV on at that time were on the game.
Several things may have played factors into the ratings drop. One could be the Seahawks' decision to stay in the locker room during the national anthem as part of league-wide protests following President Donald Trump's comments. The President on Friday called for NFL owners to fire players who protested during the anthem and urged fans to walk out of the stadium. Several fans on Facebook told us they were boycotting the team, although many others said they remained supportive.
Another factor could be the weather. It was a sunny day around Western Washington and people may have chosen to get outdoors one last time before the fall weather sets in. The week before, when ratings were higher, it was raining in Seattle and people might have chosen to stay inside and catch the game.
The Week 3 game in 2016 was also a nice weather day.
Then there is the team's play. They scored a total of 21 points in their first two games, and the offense did not look great heading into Sunday. Fans may have decided they had something better to do than to watch more of that.
It could be a combination of all three factors or other things such as people watching on mobile devices.
Nationally, NFL ratings were mixed.
NBC said its Sunday Night Football broadcast of the Raiders and Redskins was down 11 percent from Week 3 last year, according to Variety.
CBS said its doubleheader was up four percent compared to Week 3 of last season. The early game was up 11 percent, but the late game was down one percent.
FOX said it's Giants-Eagles broadcast dropped 16 percent compared to last year.
The Thursday night game between the 49ers and Rams -- which was played a day before Trump's comments -- saw a 38 percent increase in ratings from the previous year, according to Variety.
The NFL is trying to rebound from 2016 when it saw an eight percent drop in ratings.