NFL Ratings Are a Mixed Bag: Top Stories, Sports and Business News — Oct. 7

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These are the stories shaping sports and business for Wednesday October 7th, 2020.

Coronavirus Update

According to Johns Hopkins, There are over 35.9 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over one million deaths.

The U.S. has surpassed 7.5 million cases with 211,000 deaths.

On Tuesday, about an hour before the end of the trading day, President Donald Trump announced that he had instructed his representatives to cease negotiations on a stimulus deal until after the November election.

The President tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not acting in good faith. "We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request and am looking to the future of our country," Trump said.

Trump continued that he will push forward a "major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business" following the results of the election.

Late Tuesday night, Trump implied that he would consider alternative aid measures such as a new round of stimulus checks, support for airlines and the Paycheck Protection Program.

He tweeted, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was open to a standalone airline relief bill in a telephone conversation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday.

NFL Week 4

An unprecedented week 4 schedule shuffle due to the league’s first coronavirus outbreak resulted in another mixed ratings bag for the NFL and its broadcast partners.

This week’s slate of games started with a Thursday night DUD between an injured Denver Broncos team and a bad New York Jets one. Just 5.4 million tuned in to that game, a 70% decline year over year. However that sharp year-over-year drop is due to the fact that this year’s game was only shown on NFL Network, as opposed to last year’s Week 4 simulcast on NFL Network and Fox.

For Sunday’s slate of late afternoon games, CBS registered 18.6 million viewers with nearly 10% of all television watchers tuning in to its Double Header. Fox’s less compelling matchup between the Giants and Rams in the same slot was still able to garner 16.85 million viewers with 9% of tv watchers tuning in.

The CBS and Fox broadcasts were down 12% and 7%, respectively, from last year.

Which brings us to Monday night.

Remember that schedule shuffle, well the New England Patriots were forced to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night instead of Sunday and that game brought in 14.6 million viewers with just over 8% of television sets tuning in.

It was by far the most-watched program on broadcast television and even easily topped the 6.7 million viewers that tuned into NBC for the simulcast of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s town hall that night.

That little nugget encapsulates the sports viewership journey over the past few years. Ratings for sports across the board are falling in the age of covid, but viewers are choosing live sports over anything else on broadcast television. 

Sports Illustrated's Robin Lundberg and TheStreet's Tony Owusu contributed to this report.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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