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(Reuters) - Two big National Football League games scored a noticeable television ratings uptick on Sunday in the first weekend since the U.S. presidential election, according to Fox and NBC, amid a slump of 14 percent for NFL games this season.
Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox Inc, said it drew a 17.8 overnight rating, the highest for any NFL game this season, for its broadcast of Dallas Cowboys-Pittsburgh Steelers game.
NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp, said it drew a 14.3 overnight rating, the highest for any primetime NFL game since the opening weekend of the season, for Sunday night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, 2015 Super Bowl rivals.
Coming into Sunday, NBC's viewership has declined 18 percent from last season, while Fox was down 4 percent.
Though the U.S. election has been cited as a key factor in the ratings slump this season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the amount of commercials during the game could be another factor.
“Should we look at ways to maybe take some commercialization out of it? Either in less ads or maybe have the ads come in different ways than the traditional pods,” Goodell said at the New York Times DealBook conference last Thursday.
Reporting by Tim Baysinger; Editing by Alden Bentley and Jeffrey Benkoe