NFL viewership increased for all five broadcast windows

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The NFL and its television partners can call 2018 a clear success.

According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily, NFL games averaged 15.76 million viewers for the 2018 regular season, a 5 percent increase from 2017, when games averaged 14.96 million viewers.

Impressively, all five of the broadcast windows were up compared to last year: FOX Sunday afternoon games were up 2 percent, CBS Sunday afternoon games were up 6 percent, NBC Sunday night games were up 6 percent, ESPN Monday night games were up 8 percent and the FOX Thursday night package was up 4 percent from last year, when Thursday night games were on NBC and CBS.

Although the NFL’s TV ratings haven’t rebounded to 2015 levels, the widespread talk that the league was spiraling downward no longer appears to be the case. The NFL remains the most popular programming on American television, and it was more popular this season than last season.

16 responses to “NFL viewership increased for all five broadcast windows

  1. 700levelvet says:
    January 2, 2019 at 3:58 pm
    Any analysis or reasoning for the next ncrease from the previous year?

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    There were probably mistakes being made last year that did not get repeated this year. Just a guess.

  2. See… lose the drama and focus on the game and viewership comes back. Keep sports about sports!!

  3. The NFLPA finally realized that less viewership equals less dollars to split up.

    It sure took them long enough.

  4. The quality of games has been much better imo this year. I never wanna see Blake Bortles play in a playoff game again. Last year he inexplicably played in 3.

  5. The one thing that bothers me about these viewing numbers is the fact that many people are streaming the content. These viewing stats are never/rarely mentioned. Not to mention all the cord-cutters that have installed HD digital antennas. I think more people are watching at incredible undisclosed numbers but the old-school viewing system needs a tremendous update.

    The last CD that I had purchased was Michael Jackson’s History. I had never stopped listening to music since then but there are many other ways to listen. I actually listen to more music due to my increasing age and my appreciation for more genres of music.

    Please, could someone look into this aspect? Thanks

  6. -kneeling = +viewers. Simple enough. Some didn’t believe people would turn away. The networks did and stopped giving these unwilling “prisoners” of the most free country on earth their free face time.

  7. All these geniuses claiming it’s because of the lack of kneeling – maybe it was Mahomes, Brees, the Chargers, the Patriots struggling, generally a unique year that was more attention-getting than 2017. But hey, go with what you know. I’m sure you all stand and salute the TV at home when the anthem plays.

  8. sbdt says:
    January 2, 2019 at 4:47 pm
    All these geniuses claiming it’s because of the lack of kneeling – maybe it was Mahomes, Brees, the Chargers, the Patriots struggling, generally a unique year that was more attention-getting than 2017. But hey, go with what you know. I’m sure you all stand and salute the TV at home when the anthem plays.

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    How this season would shape up is all hindsight knowledge. But people started watching again starting from the first game when no one knew any of that. I think you have to face it that removing the protests from the screen is exactly what made that difference. Its ok to wish it was differently, I get that. But its obvious what the facts are.

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