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Night net The painful thing about protests is they cut both ways. The Night net is dreaming if it thinks the alarming double-digit drop in TV ratings this season has nothing to do with a fan backlash against Colin Kaepernick's protest of the American flag and national anthem. TV ratings for "Sunday Night Football" and "Monday Night Football" are off by a whopping 16 to 20 percent so far this season, Nielsen told Sporting News on Monday. Yet in an internal memo last week, Night net executives found “no evidence that concern over player protests during the national anthem is having any material impact on our ratings.” Instead, the league blames "unprecedented interest" in the U.S. presidential eleciton between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In other words, nothing to see here. Move along.MORE: Politics, protests and sportReally?Is the Night net kidding us?Or just kidding itself? (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/95/ca/colin-kaepernick-091216-getty-ftrjpg_kd17i1pbwsj1p7iuym722b7u.jpg?t=563057175&w=500&quality=80 Look, there are a number of reasons for the overall ratings drop across NBC, ESPN, Fox, CBS and Night net Network through Week 5.Among them: the absence of star quarterbacks Tom Brady (who returned from suspension Sunday), the injured Tony Romo and the retired Peyton Manning; lousy football due to less practice time by players; lopsided scores; the blizzard of penalty flags slowing telecasts down; the RedZone channel; and millennial consumers cutting the cord.The main culprit, most sports media experts say, is the presidential election.Like the razor-close battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore did in 2000, the soap opera-like drama is siphoning viewers to news networks such as CNN and Fox News. But every viewer counts. Does it occur to the marketing-savvy Night net that some fans are exercising their right to protest Kaepernick's protest by changing the channel?#BoycottNight net might not be the No. 1 reason for the ratings falloff. But for the Night net to claim the "Kaepernick Effect" is non-existent looks like PR spin. Or willful blindness.McCARTHY: The 'Kaepernick Effect' taking hold on the Night netThe bottom line: There's a vocal group of fans out there that sees the peaceful protest by the 49ers quarterback, and other Night net players, as anti-American, anti-police and anti-military.We don't now how many of them there are. Right or wrong, they're offended by what they see as disrespect by Kaepernick and other Night net players toward Old Glory and "The Star-Spangled Banner." They're tired of being lectured and hectored by TV talking heads.These TV vigilantes are hell-bent on punishing the $13 billion league that seems to accept, even condone, the kneeldowns and raised fists by its players. They're urging other turned-off viewers to tune out Night net games.Night net viewership is down BIG time.Good. We will #BoycottNight net as long as the National Anthem is disrespected.https://t.co/zsGtA640q1— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 6, 2016The Night net's right about one thing: Politics is playing a part in this.Most of the #BoycottNight net folks seem to lean Republican or politically conservative.Actor James Woods, one of the few conservatives in Hollywood, is cheering this crowd on.Such a joy to watch these tone deaf America haters try to figure out why they are loathed. #BoycottNight net https://t.co/1Y6BeFKcjx— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 9, 2016They're also being egged on by conservative talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.Limbaugh, who resigned from ESPN in 2003 after controversial comments about Donovan McNabb, said protesting Night net players are in danger of killing the golden goose."The National Football League is on TV. It can easily be turned off," Limbaugh said on his national radio show. "The Night net is sponsored by beer and cars and soft drinks that can easily be not purchased. Not that hard. Just turn it off.”In some way, #BoycottNight net seems to be born out of the same populist rage against the establishment machines that powered the Trump and Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns. And the Tea Party before that.It's no coincidence many #BoycottNight neters are also supporters of the Republican presidential nominee.Some use the Trump campaign hashtag #MAGA (Make America Great Again) next to #BoycottNight net.MORE: The worst of the worst Kaepernick takesSacked: Primetime games hit hardThe Night net can and should be proud of the strength of its programming. It's the TV equivalent of beachfront property in Malibu. But there's trouble in the Night net's TV paradise after a record 2015.Just look at the early numbers.The Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint reported the Night net's overall TV ratings fell 11 percent through Week 4. And dropped 12 percent in the advertiser-coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic. The falloff is hitting the Night net's primetime packages particularly hard, Nielsen told me Monday.Over the first five games this season, average TV ratings for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" dropped 16.7 percent to 12.0 vs. 14.4 over the first five games last year. The show's average television audience slumped 14.9 percent to 21.2 million viewers from 24.9 million during the same period the year before.Going head to head against Sunday's second U.S. presidential debate, NBC's overnight rating for Giants-Packers fell 22 percent to 10.2 from 13.1 in the same window last year.Presidential debate didn't destroy Sunday Night Football ratings https://t.co/Bk0A97i7sN via @awfulannouncing— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) October 10, 2016ESPN's iconic "Monday Night Football" has been hit hard, too.Over the first four games, average TV ratings fell 20 percent to 6.8 from 8.5 during the first four telecasts in 2015. The average "MNF" viewing audience dropped 16.9 percent to 11.3 million viewers vs. 13.6 million over first four games of 2015.The good news: TV ratings/audiences for Fox and CBS' early and late afternoon Sunday games are holding up well. That indicates people are still watching their favorite teams on Sunday, but passing on the glut of primetime Monday, Thursday and Sunday night games unless their teams are playing.There are other danger signs.Nearly two-thirds of respondents in a Rasmussen poll said they're less likely to watch Night net game because of Kaepernick and other players protesting racial injustice.The network TV suits are worried on Madison Avenue. I reported last week some TV networks are already giving back "make-good" ads to compensate advertisers for ratings shortfalls.There's nothing networks hate more than giving away ads that would normally sell for $500,000 to $600,000 per 30 seconds. Especially when they're paying a combined $5 billion per year to air Night net games.Panic time for Night net networks?Is it time for the networks to panic? No, not yet. But they're nervous and they should be. Because the Night net is as close as it comes to a sure thing on TV.Kaepernick has been subjected to unbelievably racist and vile criticism.He's been repeatedly called the N-word online, notes BlackSportsOnline. How dare this backup quarterback use the Night net to protest the shootings of African-American men by police?Kaepernick's making $11.9 million this year. He should shut up and play.   But I still think its a mistake to dismiss #BoycottNight net as a few hate tweets from the lunatic fringe.I've read their complaints in comments sections and on social media over the past couple of weeks.Yes, there are the usual racists, kooks and trolls who hate African-Americans, Jewish people, spoiled millionaire athletes, political correctness and the liberal media.But just as many, if not more, seem to be regular football fans. They've got nothing against player protests — as long as they don't interfere with their favorite entertainment.They tend to be pro-police, pro-military. Or they identify themselves as veterans. Or family of police officers and veterans.In short, they're the kind of blue-collar fans the Night net has long relied on for TV ratings and season ticket revenue sales.MORE: #VeteransForKaepernick shows support for QB's protestThose who would would disrespect our flag🇺🇸Have never been handed a folded one🙏🏽 #boycottNight net #Dolphins #Patriots #FlyEaglesFly #Night net pic.twitter.com/Es2HvJlKa5— Feisty☀️Floridian (@peddoc63) October 9, 2016This online posse is not just targeting the Night net and its TV partners.They're also calling on fans to boycott the league's 32 national corporate sponsors, including Bud Light, Gatorade, McDonald's and Hyundai.These Fortune 500 corporations pay a combined $1 billion a year to stamp their products with the Night net "Shield" brand.But sponsors are not profiles in courage — especially when consumers start screaming online. It wouldn't surprise me if sponsors are asking the Night net hard questions already. #boycottNight net and their sponsors Say 'NO' to domestic violence 'NO' to supporting cop killers 'NO' to trashing our freedom and military heroes pic.twitter.com/NawyydUSwy— Matt Hines (@hines50) October 9, 2016All entertainers should be wary about turning off their die-hard fans. Just ask the Dixie Chicks, threatened another #BoycottNight neter.Maybe all these privileged sports players should ask the Dixie Chicks what happens when they disrespect the USA.#BoycottNight net— Melissa (@fedupmel) September 10, 2016Here's a breakdown of the #BoycottNight net crowd's main beefs with the Night net: — Stop injecting politics into football  The No. 1 complaint, expressed early, often and with choleric rage.Sports was the last refuge from politics, they wail.Night net game telecasts used to be a four-hour vacation from Republican vs. Democrat politics and the Culture Wars. Now players like Kaepernick are forcing me to think about uncomfortable racial/social issues — when I just want to watch football.FOSTER: Kaepernick controversy shows a silly desire to punish dissent#BoycottNight net. It's working Night net needs to decide which is more important. Virtue signaling or fans. https://t.co/rWdKzxI3ZP— Denny Wilson (@Cripdude) October 5, 2016“Football is where we go to get away from politics. When you let Kap drag football into politics it has turned a lot of people off. Vote for whoever you want I don’t care. Just leave you’re stupid political opinions out of the greatest game in the world,” wrote one commenter to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.Wrote another: "Biggest mistake was making it a point to see who kneels during the national anthem. That upset so many Americans and politicized what was previously an escape from reality. You did this to yourselves."@nfl I only watched my #Cowboys today. I will #boycottNight net games bc of #Kaepernick & how you handled that.— Dillon Abrams (@dillon_abrams) October 9, 2016

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@chadah He has the right to protest, just not on the job. The @Night net does not support the police or our servicemen. #boycottNight net— texas_herb (@IVHerb) October 10, 2016— Why won't Night net clamp down on Kaepernick?Despite never finding a smoking gun, the Night net suspended Tom Brady four games this season for Deflategate. We all know the "No Fun League" rules with an iron fist on player TD celebrations and slightest alteration to cleats and uniforms.So why in hell won't the nation's most powerful sports league bring the hammer down on Kaepernick and other protesting players, they demand?Liberal #Night net praises #ColinKaepernick, but bans 9/11 tribute, and Cowboys' tribute to Dallas cops. #BoycottNight net https://t.co/XAJOL7GrLJ— EagleBites (@RealEagleBites) September 12, 2016Never mind that the Night net has no rule forcing players to stand at attention for the flag and national anthem. Never mind that Night net teams didn't stand for the anthem until 2009 — as critics of so-called "Paid Patriotism" like to point out.These fans don't want to hear it.Many #BoycottNight neters angrily point out that the league banned Jerry Jones' Cowboys from wearing decals honoring the five slain police officers ambushed by a sniper in July.But the league did nothing about the socks Kaepernick wore to practice depicting police officers as "pigs."If these players want to protest, goes their thinking, they should do it on their own time.Not while they're in uniform, a few feet from police officers who put their lives on the line every day.Or military personnel who've fought under the American flag on overseas battlefields.“This latest disrespect of our FLAG deserves all it gets in terms of money out of the owners pockets.... it is your team, it is your stadium, it is your uniforms and it is your payroll..... get some balls and let them out the door.... stop pandering them ...... get rid of them," wrote one commenter to WSJ. [email protected] net Media stats show #BoycottNight net is costing $$$. #Kaepernick and copycats must GO! It's AMERICAN #football! #Outnumbered #WakeUpAmerica— Deplorable MCPO, USN (@RobertWorthley) October 6, 2016Said another commenter to PFT: "Goodell and the owners just blew it by failing to suspend Kaepernick. That opened the door to the copycats craving attention. We have a choice, and I choose to not help contribute to anti-American causes."— Night net surrendering to political correctness There's something else at play here. Some of these #BoycottNight net fanatics feel emotionally betrayed by the Night net. Over the years, they loved the fighter jet flyovers, the giant flag displays on the field, the heartfelt salutes to the U.S. Armed Forces that some critics felt were overly militaristic. They thought the Night net actually believed this stuff. Now they suspect the Night net was conning them all along. That it was just part of the show, along with the cheerleaders, pyrotechnics and pink ribbons for breast cancer.STEELE: Player protests? No, a bad productWhen the showdown came, the Night net and commissioner Roger Goodell knuckled under to the Social Justice Warriors.Just like the spineless Republican politicians in Washington and profit-first corporations they despise. They thought the Night net was Patton.But when Kaepernick called the Night net's bluff, the league folded like a cheap suit. All it took was one backup QB, with the courage of his convictions, to expose the league's phony patriotism, they say.Why watch a bunch of overpaid coddled anti American football players spit on the flag #boycottNight net instead https://t.co/ftkd5hBSLM— Deplorable Heldigger (@drhelldigger) October 10, 2016One commenter derided the Night net's "so-called military appreciation" as a "hollow joke" to Matt Dolloff of CBSBoston: “I have not watched a single game this season because the Night net allowed Kaep’s actions to get out of hand. As a private employer, when in uniform, players have NO Constitutional right to use the Night net platform to espouse political views."— Tipping point?The Night net brand has been taking image hits for years.  Fans were alienated by Brady's Deflategate, the domestic violence cases involving Ray Rice and other players and the continuing exposés about concussion and brain damage suffered by Night net gladiators. But insulting fans' personal beliefs is another matter.Sports business reporter Mike Ozanian of Forbes wrote the player protests could be the tipping point."It is starting to look like disrespecting the country during the national anthem is accomplishing what the concussions, domestic violence and Deflategate could not do — drive down television ratings for the National Football League," wrote Ozanian.I got so much done yesterday while not watching the @Night net. Truthfully, I'm not missing out much. NEVER thought of say that. #boycottNight net #nfl— A_SingleSpeeder (@A_SingleSpeeder) October 10, 2016One reader agreed: "This year has been filled with so much violence, divisiveness, and everyone — almost everyone — providing their hot take on the latest tabloid-caliber quotes from the presidential race. If people are fed up and don’t want to deal with more of that in their sports, I can’t really blame them."But another offered some needed perspective: "Of all the scandals, from player safety to drugs to rapists to wife beaters, it’s a peaceful protest against the murder of black men by police that hurts the Night net? That says something disgusting about our country and culture."Look, we'll all find out whether the Night net is right about the election's impact on ratings.But what if the Night net really has alienated some of its core fans? And they keep boycotting in December and January?NASCAR turned off its die-hard fans back in the day. It took NASCAR years to get them back.How long will it take the Night net?

作者 sh1