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NFL ratings take a hit from Hurricane Irma coverage

NFL ratings take a hit from Hurricane Irma coverage

The hopes of an NFL ratings comeback in the season’s opening week were washed out by hurricane coverage on Sunday.

According to Nielsen data, the overall audience for the first week’s games was down 13% over last season, when interest in the 2016 presidential election campaign was blamed for cutting into numbers.

NFL ratings are being watched carefully by media companies and Wall Street analysts to determine whether last year’s 8% downturn in audience over the full season was a blip or if changing viewing habits are taking a toll on what is television’s biggest and most-durable ratings franchise.

This weekend, the NFL was competing with extended coverage of Hurricane...

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