Football ratings down on weekend of boycott

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, from left, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, center, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. What started as a protest against police brutality has mushroomed a year later into a divisive debate over the future of Kaepernick who refused to stand for the national anthem and now faces what his fans see as blackballing for speaking out in a country roiled by racial strife. The once-rising star and Super Bowl quarterback has been unemployed since March, when he opted out of his contract and became a free agent who could sign with any team. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, 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.