Adjusted TV audience numbers move to 23.3 million, with total audience of 25.1 million, for Bucs-Cowboys

NFL: SEP 11 Buccaneers at Cowboys
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The initial numbers published on Monday by and widely distributed online were light. By a lot.

The TV audience for the Buccaneers-Cowboys game to cap the first Sunday of the regular season wasn’t 18.59 million. The full and correct number was, per NBC, 23.3 million.

Throw in the digital viewership (including 1.65 million Peacock streams, a record), and the total audience maxed out at 25.1 million.

That’s a 35-percent increase over the Week One Sunday night game between the Bears and Rams, and it’s the most-watched Sunday night opener since 2015, when Giants vs. Cowboys generated 26.9 million.

In two days, the NFL launches its streaming experiment, with Chiefs-Chargers available only on Amazon Prime Video. The game will be televised via over-the-air networks in the home markets of the two teams. The total audience will likely be far less than 25.1 million, but the league knows that. This is about pivoting to the manner in which the consumption of video is changing. Fewer people than ever are watching traditional TV.

Which makes it even more impressive that pro football can consistently gather a massive audience to watch traditional TV at a time when few if any other products can.

7 responses to “Adjusted TV audience numbers move to 23.3 million, with total audience of 25.1 million, for Bucs-Cowboys

  1. Pro football is all I watch. After the Super Bowl, the TV doesn’t even get turned on until August. I won’t be streaming the Thursday night games, though.

  2. Those boycotts over kneeling really went well. It is amazing how much those people who claimed that they would never watch again have impacted the viewership numbers.

  3. I imagine 24 million or so viewers were hoping the Cowboys would lose well as waiting to see if Steve Jones would wipe Jerry’s glasses again.

  4. I’m not buying Amazon Prime or Video for this. If I find out after the fact that the game was good, I’ll watch it on NFL Network replay or NFL+. I’ll probably be proven wrong, but I think the NFL is pushing it too far when they start making games streaming exclusives.

  5. In the late 1960’s and 1970’s the Fans watched the Cowboys because they seem to always
    find a way to win. Now the fans tune in to watch the Cowboys lose and make jokes about it.

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