CBS on the spot amid Trump's call for NFL boycott heading into week 4, JPMorgan says

Nielsen said this week that NFL broadcast television ratings overall are down 11% this season. (Josh Hallett/Flickr)

CBS’ stocks could be in the crosshairs next week if investors heed the advice of one financial analyst and brace for a ratings impact triggered by President Donald Trump’s call for an NFL boycott.

JPMorgan Chase analyst Shawn Quigg told investors to be cautious heading into week 4 of the NFL season and lock in an option to sell shares at a higher price in case CBS stocks fall after ratings are in for this week’s games.

The NFL has said that ratings for its Thursday night games were up, with the Sept. 21 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams averaging a 4.4 HH rating and 7.4 million total viewers on TV nationally—just on the NFL Network, not OTA broadcast—up 18% and 22% respectively year over year.

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But Nielsen this week said that NFL broadcast television ratings overall are down 11% this season.

RELATED: NFL ratings down 11% this season, Nielsen says

The concerns over NFL ratings come amid continuing comments from Trump regarding players protesting racial inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem. This week, Trump suggested that NFL owners feel they need to do something about the protests but that the owners are afraid of the players.

Trump’s comments have earned pushback from owners and players, as well as NFL leadership. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to Trump’s criticism by saying that the NFL is “at our best” when helping to create a sense of unity.

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” said Goodell.

This week, CBS is showing a game on Thursday night (Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Bears) and televising six games on Sunday, including the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Baltimore Ravens.

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