Football ratings down on weekend of boycott

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, the Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. What began more than a year ago with a lone NFL quarterback protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem before games has grown into a roar with hundreds of players sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms, their reasons for demonstrating as varied as their methods. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The National Football League is continuing a steady decline in audience. The fourth week of games had the smallest audience of the year on a weekend that some conservatives had called for a boycott because some players used the national anthem to protest against police treatment of minorities.

The Nielsen company said Tuesday that last weekend’s nationally televised games averaged 14.2 million viewers, down from 14.8 million viewers the week before.

Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity was among the people calling for the boycott. It’s virtually impossible to tell what kind of impact it had, considering that viewership had been going down before that.

Meanwhile, CBS was the top-rated network for the first week of the fall season for the ninth year in a row.