Viewership for many live sports events — including prime-time NFL games — is down considerably this year, per a look at the numbers by Sports Business Daily.

This comes, of course, on the heels of massive growth over the past decade. Even small double-digit drops in viewership in those three areas (in a small sample size, it also should be noted) still mean the NFL is wildly popular.

Analysts say it's not time to panic and offer many theories — including the migration to digital platforms and the fact that this is a strange year and sports are caught in a particular cycle. And it is also noted that overall sports are becoming relatively MORE popular on TV in relation to other programming.

Still, another theory caught my eye: "I would really start with the election — I don't think you have to look much deeper than that," said Mike Mulvihill, Fox Sports' senior vice president of programming and research.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.