NFL’s opening week ratings average 17.4 million, up 7% from ’20

The NFL’s kickoff weekend ended up having the second-highest TV rankings for Week 1 over the previous 5 seasons.

The 16 video games averaged 17.4 million viewers on tv and digital properties. That may be a 7% enhance over final season (16.3 million common) and almost equal to 2019, which averaged 17.6 million and stays the best since 2017.

The numbers have been prone to enhance after final season was performed through the pandemic, with empty stadiums presenting a wierd viewing dynamic, and many individuals’s viewing habits altering. The primary half of the season additionally occurred within the midst of a presidential marketing campaign, when some folks have been watching cable information channels.

NFL video games ranked as the highest six broadcasts for the previous week. Practically 23.2 billion minutes have been considered, making it the biggest Week 1 minutes whole since 2016.

ESPN and Nielsen reported that the Monday evening extra time thriller between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens averaged 15.3 million on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. It’s the most watched Monday Night time Soccer Week 1 recreation since 2013, when Philadelphia at Washington averaged 16.5 million. That included 800,000 for the Mannings Megacast that includes Peyton and Eli on ESPN2.

Probably the most-watched recreation of the week was final Thursday evening’s 31-29 victory by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Dallas Cowboys. It averaged 26.4 million viewers on NBC and digital, making it the most-watched first recreation of the season since 2015.

NBC averaged 22.8 million for the Thursday and Sunday video games, which is an 11% enhance over final yr.

The league’s new tv deal would not formally kick in till 2023, however some parts have began with the season increasing to 17 video games over 18 weeks. This was the primary yr each CBS and Fox had doubleheaders on Week 1.

CBS reported the best viewership of a Sunday recreation, with a 19.54 million common for the 4:25 p.m. ET recreation between the Cleveland Browns and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Additionally it is the community’s second-most watched opening week window because it resumed carrying video games in 1998.

The CBS doubleheader averaged 16.59 million viewers, up 21% over final yr. It was the primary time CBS has had a Week 1 doubleheader since 2015. For a few years it could not air a doubleheader on the opening week as a result of it was carrying the US Open tennis event.

Fox, which featured Inexperienced Bay and New Orleans, averaged 16.24 million for the 4:25 p.m. window and 13.57 million for the doubleheader.

The NFL stated the 2 late home windows on Sunday drew 6.3 billion whole minutes, the best on report for Week 1 since monitoring began in 1988.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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