The 6.3 percent slump — worsening from comparable declines of 5.6 to 5.7 percent during the previous three weeks — plagued a week whose off-the-field drama made gridiron tackling seem almost tame by comparison.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remained the major distraction by continuing to battle with fellow team owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Jones brought even more tension to Week 11 when video footage surfaced late last week of the football tycoon making a racially charged remark at a 2013 wedding party.
President Donald Trump added to the off-field antics with a tweet calling for the suspension of the Oakland Raiders' Marshawn Lynch for not standing for the national anthem during a game played in Mexico City.
Only two games had audience gains.
The NBC "SNF" during which the Philadelphia Eagles whopped the Dallas Cowboys 37 to 9 managed to attract 12 percent more viewers than the comparable contest a year ago.