A nearly 10,000 person poll found that a majority of those who watched less NFL games last season did so because of player protests:
No shock to anyone living outside an ideological bubble: "Anthem protests led poll of reasons viewers tuned out" https://t.co/UZmxFy5Gp7— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) July 27, 2017
Clearly, there was a faction of fans that were upset over Kaepernick's protest, and other players joining him. But, how many are we really talking about? Steve Andress, formerly of Colts.com, pointed this out by doing the math:
9200 surveyed: 12% said they watched fewer games. Of that, 26% noted anthem protests. So that's 287 of 9200. 2484 watched more games. So... https://t.co/NvurDSESUx— Steve Andress (@Steve_Andress) July 27, 2017
That still represents the largest percentage of fans (26%) who watched less games last season, but isn't a huge group given the overall poll's size of NFL viewers.
However, the league will have to do something to curtail its rash of negative publicity. An 8% ratings drop from 2015 is a big deal, regardless of what reason fans were/are tuning in less.