The more Trump tells people to tune out NFL games, the more people want to watch NFL games.
It’s official: Donald Trump has helped turn around what had been the NFL’s sagging television ratings, and made the league’s Week 3 a resounding TV success. The exclamation point came with “Monday Night Football,” the league’s final game of the tumultuous week.
The Cowboys versus Cardinal match-up posted a gigantic ratings boost, drawing 63 percent more viewers.
“This is a huge victory for MNF after a day and full weekend of coverage of the U.S. President openly criticizing protesting athletes, calling some 'sons of bitches,'" noted the Hollywood Reporter. That big increase Monday night meant that ratings for the league’s entire slate of games during the Trump controversy were up compared to last year’s Week 3.
Trump, of course, has been weirdly obsessing over the NFL, urging fans to turn off the NFL games because supposedly unpatriotic players were disrespecting the flag with their silent, sideline protests during the national anthem. Trump has tried to turn the issue into some kind overnight cultural war, even though some NFL players began protesting on the sidelines a year ago.
Trump has also been claiming that the NFL business model is crumbling because so many offended fans are tuning out. But his jingoistic attacks over the weekend produced the exact opposite affect, as the NFL basks in national attention and even more television viewers. On Sunday, the pre-game shows were especially popular, as fans tuned into to learn more about the White House/NFL feud.
The “Monday Night Football” game generated headlines when the Cowboys’ famous owner, and Trump donor, Jerry Brown, knelt with the team on the field just prior to the national anthem.