But that isn't stopping the NFL from denying that the problem has some controversial undercurrents – or that the problem exists in the first place.
Sunday Night Football between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants drew a 10.2 overnight rating as it mostly went up against the second presidential debate, according to Sports Media Watch. It's a steep drop from 13.1 in Week 5 of the 2015 season and the lowest overnight rating since Week 8 of the 2013 season.
The presidential debate, and the 2016 election season, are no doubt cutting into TV ratings for everyone, not just the NFL. But for an 11 percent overall drop through the first four weeks of 2016 that is likely to deepen after Week 5? Seems more like a convenient excuse.