NEW YORK (AP) — Midway through a season remembered most for protests by some players during the National Anthem, viewership for NFL football games is down 5 percent from last year.

The NFL has slowed a decline that was more pronounced in 2016, and the erosion is actually less than it is for other forms of television programming. Yet Wall Street analysts have noticed the trend and sports programmers are searching for reasons. The NFL's aura of invincibility as an entertainment product has taken a hit.

The average NFL game this season has attracted 14.8 million viewers, down from 15.6 million at the same point last year.

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