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NFL sidelined pizza sales? Papa John's says yes, others no

FILE - This Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, file photo shows a Pizza Hut restaurant in New Orleans. On Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, Yum Brands said it saw a key sales measure rise at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell for the third quarter, and said it saw no effect on sales due to declining NFL viewership, a day after Papa John's blamed weaker pizza sales on the controversy over protests during the national anthem. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
November 02, 2017 - 1:12 PM

NEW YORK - The CEO of Papa John's slammed the NFL's leadership and blamed protests by football players for pizza sales going cold. A day later, rival Pizza Hut said it saw no such impact. So what's going on?

Papa John's is closely associated with the NFL, due to its sponsorship of the league. But experts say it is also facing more competition as other fast-food chains start to deliver, taking a bite out of pizza sales. More people are also cooking at home, and Papa John's may have been too dependent on TV ads at a time when more people are spending time online.

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

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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