Other networks had to deal with National Football League games running longer than the time they were allotted on television.
Washington is coming off of a domination over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, defeating the previously undefeated Raiders team 27-10. CBS' string of shared Thursday Night Football games starts September 28 after several weekends of smaller performances airing exclusively on the NFL Network.
Though many are saying they'll never watch the NFL again after a weekend filled with players taking a knee or silently protesting during the national anthem, ratings for Week 3 are actually expected to increase slightly compared to last season.
- CBS's "The NFL Today" scored a 3.2 rating, a 33 percent boost from Week 3 last season and the show's best number since 2010. The Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones knelt before the anthem began, leading to boos from the crowd, but then stood as the anthem was sung. The Dallas Cowboys are traditionally a popular draw for football fans.
The outlet reported that the average rating across all Sunday and Monday game was up 3% compared to the same week in 2016. Throughout the season, Monday Night Football games have averaged a 7.8 overnight rating, according to Pro Football Talk. Forbes notes that the rise of internet streaming likely accounts for the NFL's declining cable ratings, compounded more recently by the spate of hurricanes that have hit the south and east coasts.
During the first month of the season previous year, Monday night games averaged a 6.5 overnight rating. When it comes to Nielsen numbers, the National Football League has a far larger problem than protests: Americans' changing viewing habits.
While ratings fluctuated between the major television networks on Sunday-CBS saw an improvement for the Packers-Bengals game while Fox and NBC experienced dips-the popularity and notoriety of the Cowboys ensured Monday's rating held up for ESPN.