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

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The NFL’s kickoff weekend finished up owning the second-highest Television set ratings for 7 days 1 around the previous 5 seasons.

The 16 online games averaged 17.4 million viewers on tv and electronic homes. That is a 7% improve about very last season (16.3 million typical) and approximately equivalent to 2019, which averaged 17.6 million and stays the optimum because 2017.

The numbers were being most likely to increase immediately after very last period was played through the pandemic, with empty stadiums presenting a unusual viewing dynamic, and a lot of people’s viewing habits modifying. The very first fifty percent of the time also happened in the midst of a presidential campaign, when some men and women were looking at cable news channels.

NFL video games rated as the leading six broadcasts for the earlier week. Virtually 23.2 billion minutes were being viewed, earning it the premier 7 days 1 minutes total given that 2016.

ESPN and Nielsen reported that the Monday night time time beyond regulation thriller amongst the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens averaged 15.3 million on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. It is the most watched Monday Evening Soccer Week 1 recreation given that 2013, when Philadelphia at Washington averaged 16.5 million. That included 800,000 for the Mannings Megacast showcasing Peyton and Eli on ESPN2.

The most-watched activity of the week was last Thursday night’s 31-29 victory by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in excess of the Dallas Cowboys. It averaged 26.4 million viewers on NBC and digital, earning it the most-viewed first game of the year due to the fact 2015.

NBC averaged 22.8 million for the Thursday and Sunday online games, which is an 11% raise over very last year.

The league’s new television deal will not formally kick in until eventually 2023, but some features have commenced with the time expanding to 17 video games over 18 months. This was the very first calendar year equally CBS and Fox experienced doubleheaders on 7 days 1.

CBS documented the greatest viewership of a Sunday activity, with a 19.54 million ordinary for the 4:25 p.m. ET sport in between the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. It is also the network’s next-most watched opening week window due to the fact it resumed carrying games in 1998.

The CBS doubleheader averaged 16.59 million viewers, up 21% around previous yr. It was the initially time CBS has experienced a Week 1 doubleheader considering that 2015. For lots of yrs it could not air a doubleheader on the opening 7 days mainly because it was carrying the US Open tennis tournament.

Fox, which highlighted Eco-friendly Bay and New Orleans, averaged 16.24 million for the 4:25 p.m. window and 13.57 million for the doubleheader.

The NFL reported the two late home windows on Sunday drew 6.3 billion full minutes, the highest on file for Week 1 because tracking started off in 1988.

The Affiliated Push contributed to this report.