There are few things that Americans love more than football. Even amid some recent controversies, the full-contact sport remains a cornerstone of American culture. But with 2017 drawing to a close, it looks like NBC's Sunday Night Football has taken a somewhat severe hit (pun very much intended, thank you very much) in the rating department.

Now that the data has started to roll in, it looks like Sunday Night Football continued to serve as a popular weekly broadcast. However, the numbers are decidedly down from last year, as the 18.2 million, which translates to a 13% ratings dip among adults aged 18 to 49, as well as a 10% overall ratings drop. We do not currently have a clear-cut rationale for why Sunday Night Football's ratings have dropped recently, although there's an argument to be made that the controversy surrounding players kneeling during the National Anthem (a trend started by Colin Kaepernick) as well as physical and mental health issues raised by repeated blows to the head (an issue tackled in the 2015 film Concussion) could potentially factor in.

These numbers actually arrived ahead of schedule, as there was a game planned between the Bears and the Packers. Instead, the game was moved to avoid the possibility of people tuning out, so it will instead be played in a post-New Year's Eve timeslot.

Of course, as pointed out by this THR report, it is not all bad news for NFL Sunday Night Football. As far as performance goes, the weekly sporting event is still the clear winner for NBC, with This Is Us coming in as at a distant second. Football definitely remains a favorite sport, but the data clearly shows that it is not firing on all cylinders with audiences as it has in recent years.

CinemaBlend will bring you any and all up-to-date information about the ratings of Sunday Night Football on NBC as new details about the sports program become available to us. Until then, you can take a glance at our comprehensive fall TV premiere guide and our midseason premiere guide (not to mention our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule) to check out what else TV has in store in the coming months. On the podcasting side of things, you can also make sure to listen to the latest episode of The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear everything that we have to say about the latest and greatest streaming content.

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