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September 19, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

There was a time when a gentleman’s agreement existed among the television networks to air reruns and other boring fare opposite the annual Emmy awards telecast. After all, each network felt it could benefit from the publicity that the awards gave their shows, even the ones that didn’t receive a statuette. But those were the days before NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and things have changed. Ratings for the awards show have sunk by more than a third following the debut of the football telecast. And things have gotten progressively worse each year as football increases its lead. On Sunday night, The Philadelphia Eagles-Atlanta Hawks contest attracted far more viewers than the Emmys, as it averaged 21.5 million. The Emmys, by contrast, averaged 10.83 million, not bad until you consider that the awards show was once one of the most-watched specials of the year. (Back in 1986 ratings for the ceremony peaked with 35.80 million viewers.) Sunday night’s viewer figures were down about 7 percent from last year’s.