Week 3 NFL Ratings Actually Up Slightly as Trump Tweets Numbers Are ‘Way Down’

President Donald Trump has been insistent on Twitter: NFL ratings are down, way down, as a result of the league-wide protests during the National Anthem.

“Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!” Trump Tweeted on Tuesday morning.

Well, the ratings numbers are in for the just-concluded Week 3 of the NFL season, and they are inconclusive — although certainly not “way down,” as the President suggested.

According to The Hollywood Reporter aggregate TV ratings across the league were up 3% year-over-year. However, the comparison isn’t perfect. Much of that growth can be directly attributed to the 9.3 posted by Monday Night Football, improving on its historically low 5.7 mark in 2016 for the same week. Last year, the game took place opposite a Presidential debate. This year’s Week 3 Monday-nighter featured the Dallas Cowboys — historically the league’s biggest TV draw.

According to Pro Football Talk, ESPN and CBS were up this week (CBS had the doubleheader slot and featured a thrilling overtime game between Green Bay and Cincinnati in the late window). NBC (which televised the Washington Redskins in a blowout victory over the Oakland Raiders) and Fox (which had regional action featuring the New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles) were down.

Bottom line: It’s just way too early to draw any conclusions. But the numbers will undoubtedly bear watching going forward.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo