Tom Brady believes that the presidential election may be taking away viewers from the NFL.
At an event in Boston this week to celebrate the opening of Under Armour's first brand store in Beantown, the Patriots quarterback said while he thinks the product is still great — there are a lot of distractions that may be leading to less viewership.
"Certainly the presidential election and all the coverage that that gets is drawing some people away," Brady told CNBC. Yet the four-time Super Bowl champion remains hopeful. "It's a long season, it will keep building," he said referring to the NFL's recent ratings struggle.
Ratings for NFL games are down about 15 percent from last year. The NFL has said "while we will continue to pay close attention to our ratings on a week-to-week basis, we should remember that 63 of the top 100 shows on television in 2015 were NFL games and have confidence that our product is by far and away the most powerful programming on television."
With more football across the airwaves, global games in London and new digital platforms, NFL viewers are being inundated with football in more ways than ever. Despite this, Brady said he doesn't think that's diluting the overall product. "I think the more people that can see the game and understand the game the better ... whether that's digitally on TV or the radio."
Brady praised the NFL's foresight to be one of the first leagues to experiment with Twitter, Yahoo and other digital platforms. "Digital is obviously everything now, everyone is so mobile. It's great the NFL saw that coming and tried to let people experience that as it became the thing to do."
As for politics, he said he's focused right now on football and not letting the election become a distraction. "I believe we are all responsible for doing our best to change the world," he said.
While Brady said that Trump sent him a "make American great again" hat when he entered the race, he wouldn't say whether he was supporting him for president, even though he offered his support earlier.
"I think religion is a little like politics — a lot of these controversial things where there is never a right answer or a wrong answer and people are on different sides of the fence," he said.
Brady said he's focused on what he does best — football. "I just like to go out there and do my job and represent my city and team in the best way possible. We're out there doing that and off to a good start. "