There soon could be tangible evidence that national anthem protests are damaging NFL TV ratings.
President Donald Trump, whose comments on anthem protesters reinvigorated the topic, has claimed the demonstrations are bad for ratings. And following a polarizing Week 3 around the NFL, DirecTV is offering “some” refunds for fans who want to cancel their NFL Sunday Ticket packages if they cite displeasure with anthem protests as their reasons for doing so, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Refunds for the package, which typically costs around $280, are unprecedented.
Once the NFL seasons begin, fans normally can’t cancel their subscriptions. But due to the sensitive nature of the anthem demonstrations, AT&T, which owns DirecTV, is making an exception.
While an AT&T spokesperson reportedly said the company won’t provide any numbers pertaining to cancellations, the news certainly isn’t good for the NFL, which once again is witnessing a decrease in ratings.
TV ratings across the first three weeks of the season are down 10 percent from the first three weeks of the 2016 season, USA TODAY reported Monday. Those numbers would be even worse if it weren’t for Week 3’s “Monday Night Football,” which drew 63 percent more viewers from the Week 3 “MNF” game from last season, according to AOL.
Now, some of these declines can be attributed to things like the 2016 presidential election, Hurricane Irma and the recent protests.
But the larger issue at hand, perhaps, is that people just might not be as interested in football as they once were.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports Images
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