Numbers dispute Trump's tweet on National Football League ratings

Goodell released a statement as well as a commercial in response to Trump

Goodell released a statement as well as a commercial in response to Trump

The NFL is trying to send a message, and it's hoping President Trump will see it.

Sunday afternoon National Football League games averaged 16.04 million viewers for the first two weeks of this season, down 11 percent from the 18.1 million people who watched during the same period previous year, the Nielsen company said.

On the surface, it appeared the NFL's viewers were in for yet another humdrum matchup to kickstart Week 3 when the Los Angeles Rams were slated to take on the rival San Francisco 49ers.

During last year's regular season, National Football League ratings were off by 8 percent compared to the previous year, and during the first two weeks of this season, ratings were down 11 percent from the comparable period last year, according to Ad Age.

There is a lot of crowing about the year-to-year comparison which sees MNF surging 63% in the early numbers over last year.

In a world where TV viewing is increasingly fragmented and more people are watching on devices or saving programs until later, the majority of TV shows have smaller ratings than the year before. Hunt is also leading the league in rushing yards per game with 133.7 yards.

The first is that the Cowboys are arguably the most popular and watched team in the league, and nearly any game featuring them is likely to do better than nearly any other. Maybe more people are enjoying good late summer weather and are staying outside more this year.

Trump and others have professed that the NFL's ratings are down due to players kneeling, sitting or raising their fist during the national anthem.

For football fans, though, chances are they were attracted by better games.

Snagging a 9.3 metered-market result and the best ratings of the season so far, last night's MNF was a thankful ratings touchdown for a league that has been losing ground in that metric so far this season and all of previous year.

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