DirecTV Offering Refunds Over NFL Protests; Some TV Ratings Dip

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — NFL fans who are upset over the ongoing players protests during the national anthem can apparently get a refund from DirecTV.

Customers who specifically cite the protests will be allowed to cancel their subscriptions to NFL Sunday Ticket and receive a refund, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The football package costs about $300 a season and typically carries a no-cancellation policy.

Through three weeks, viewership for national telecasts of NFL games is down 11 percent this season compared to 2016, the Nielsen company said on Tuesday, although there were some reported upticks, including the Monday Night Football audience.

Nielsen said the games averaged 17.63 million viewers for the first three weeks of last season, and have dipped to 15.65 million this year. The Nielsen figures don’t include many of the Sunday afternoon games that are shown to a regional audience, but not a national one.

The NFL ratings are in focus because of President Donald Trump’s suggestion that viewers are turned off by a protest against police brutality that began with quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem. The protests spread rapidly this past weekend following the president’s criticism of people involved.

Next week’s ratings will be even more closely watched, since conservative groups and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity have called for people angered by the protests to boycott this weekend’s games.

While DirecTV did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation, some subscribers took to social media to celebrate their decision to pull the plug.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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