CBS says its NFL ratings went up despite protests

CBS, which carried Sunday’s Broncos-Bills game, announced that its Week 3 rating were up 4 percent compared to its Week 3 ratings in 2016.

Thirty-two Broncos players kneeled Sunday. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)
Thirty-two Broncos players kneeled Sunday. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)
Thirty-two Broncos players kneeled Sunday. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

Hundreds of NFL players across the U.S. protested during the national anthem Sunday, but that didn’t cause ratings to dip on at least one of the league’s major TV partners.

CBS, which carried Sunday’s Broncos-Bills game, announced that its Week 3 rating were up 4 percent compared to its Week 3 ratings in 2016.

CBS also said its pre-game show, “The NFL Today,” scored its highest ratings since 2010.

Thirty-two Broncos players kneeled Sunday. They did so two days after President Donald Trump said NFL players who had previously kneeled during the national anthem as a way to protest racial inequality in America should be fired.

Last season, linebacker Brandon Marshall followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead and kneeled during the national anthem at the beginning of the season. His decision to do so cost him sponsorships with Air Force Academy Federal Credit Union and CenturyLink. CenturyLink did not end its sponsorship with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders after he kneeled Sunday, Nicki Jhabvala reported.

Marshall tweeted that he was happy his teammate kept his sponsorship deal but was displeased that CenturyLink never reached out to him before they dropped him last year.

On Monday, Marshall reiterated that he was kneeling in order to raise awareness about racial inequality and not to disrespect the flag.

“I don’t see why it gets lost,” he said. “We didn’t change it at all. People just want to focus on what they want to focus on. They just want to focus on the flag — it’s the flag, it’s the flag. I heard Shannon Sharpe say today, ‘We love this country,’ which we do.

“It’s just we want to make it better for minorities. The racial inequality, different things we want to tighten up and fix that. When people say you should leave the country, that’s not what you do when you have a problem. You run away from the problem. That’s not what you’re supposed to do. If we have an issue, and I feel like everybody should come together and try to fix the issue, not leave the country. That’s actually ridiculous.”

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at cclark@denverite.com.