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NFL television ratings sagging again to start season

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell listens at a fan forum with Baltimore Ravens fans before at the Ravens' NFL football training practice in Baltimore.

As television ratings cratered in 2016, excuses were naturally made.

From the tense political climate, to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, to cable news, to penalties, to poor officiating, to Peyton Manning's retirement and poor quarterback play in his absence, to Colin Kaepernick and anthem protests, everyone seemed to have a different theory on why NFL ratings dropped.

One year later, a new round of excuses–including extreme weather like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma–has taken over the conversation.

But the bigger issues for the NFL remains: Ratings have not rebounded.

According to a New York Post report citing Nielsen data, ratings dipped considerably across the first two weeks of this season.

Ratings in Weeks 1 and 2 were down 12 and 15 percent, respectively, according to Nielsen.

Double-digit ratings drops, again? In a non-presidential election season? What's going on here with NFL television viewers?

With NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly on the verge of a long-term contract extension, the league can't be happy about the numbers to start the season–especially when you consider marquee teams like the Giants and Cowboys headlining prime time games early in the schedule.

The best and brightest football minds bring you weekly NFL picks against the spread. Which teams are the best bests? Where are the best underdog plays? Week 3 of the 2017 NFL season begins on Thursday night with the Rams and 49ers. On Sunday, the Giants will take on the Eagles in Philadelphia, and the Jets will host the Dolphins. Sunday Night Football features the Raiders and Redskins. On Monday night, the Cowboys will travel to Arizona for a date with the Cardinals.

Week 3 began with a Thursday Night Football shootout between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. While the head-to-head battle didn't look like a boon for the NFL Network, the 41-39 back-and-forth game could have brought in casual viewers to help the league get off to a good start in Week 3.


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