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.