The NFL and college football continue to dominate TV ratings with Upheaval and Thriller: Sports on TV

The NFL He returned and showed no sign of loosening his grip on American television viewers.

Pittsburgh‘s Big win in overtime On defending the AFC champion Cincinnati – Is characterized by Perform five cycles From quarterback Bengals Joe Borough – She led CBS’ Week 1 NFL early window which averaged 17.38 million viewers on Sunday.

The broadcaster said this is the network’s most-watched first week regional window since the NFL’s return to CBS in 1998. The first week is up 21 percent compared to the same window a year ago.

Nielsen NFL metrics are by network broadcast windows – 1pm, 4pm, etc. – rather than single games (unless it’s a single game). The Steelers Bengals were more Geographical TV coverageAccording to a map from 506sports.com, other early CBS regional games included Dolphins-Patriots, Ravens-Jets, Colts-Texans and Browns-Panthers.

CBS’ national afternoon window averaged 16.61 million, with most of the nation seeing heads blast basics While most of the West Coast with Nevada And the Utah Got Raiders Chargers. That window couldn’t match last year’s Chiefs-Browns rematch in the 2020 playoffs, which pushed the network to 19.5 million in the late afternoon.

The 49ers-Bears led Fox’s early games in a window averaging 12.14 million viewers while three others were split regionally: Eagles-Lions, Saints-Falcons and Jaguars-Commanders.

Fox was the biggest winner with its 4:30 p.m. national window averaging 18.54 million viewers for the Packers-Vikings, which were watched by most of the country, with the Giants broadcasting around Tennessee, New York and some New England. This was a 12 percent increase over the equivalent 2021 window.

Last season, CBS’s early week regional window averaged 13.93 million viewers, while the afternoon national window averaged 19.53 million viewers. At Fox in 2021, the early regional window averaged 11.18 million while the afternoon national window averaged 16.23 million over its opening weekend.

And now the really big numbers from week one.

Tampa Bay‘s win 19-3 During Dallas The broadcast averaged 25.1 million viewers (TV + broadcast) for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” the network said, making it SNF’s best opener audience since Giants-Cowboys averaged 26.9 million in 2015. The number is based on written data from NBC, Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital platforms, the network said. Tom Brady The Cowboys have always been major TV raffles, so it’s no surprise that the network, given the opportunity, will feature ratings hogs in the first week.

Tom Brady


Tom Brady versus the Cowboys was a great TV mix for the first “Sunday Night Football” game on NBC of the year. (Kevin Jayraj/USA Today)

The Bears-Rams SNF averaged open last year (on the actual first week Sunday, not the prime-time opening Thursday marked as SNF) 18.6 million. “Sunday Night Football” has been the most watched prime-time program across all US TV channels for 11 years.

The season-opening special of “Sunday Night Football” last Thursday averaged 21.7 million viewers for the billing NBC broadcast. win 10–31 On the defending hero rams. A year ago, the SNF-branded season opener Thursday night between Dallas and Tampa Bay averaged 24.81 million viewers. This year’s editorial may have lost a bit of an audience due to the ongoing US coverage of the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Audience numbers for the city of Seattle surprise win During Denver – Now a quarterback by the former Seahawks star Russell Wilson After a huge off-season trade – came ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” later on Tuesday. The game averaged 19.84 million viewers on ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes, ESPN said, making it the network’s best MNF audience since 2009, when Vikings-Packers averaged 21.83 million viewers. . MNF alternate broadcast “ManningCast” on ESPN2 hosted by Peyton and Eli Manning averaged 1.5 million.

What does it all mean? The NFL numbers are still incredible given the ongoing faltering state of the television industry, which is dealing with overall drops in viewership as tens of millions of homes in the US drop cable in favor of broadcasting or even nothing at all. The pandemic has accelerated some industry trends, but the NFL remains one of the TV properties least affected.

Last season’s NFL games averaged 17.1 million viewers, recovering from 14.9 million during the worst of the 2020 pandemic downturn. Historic peak reached 18.1 million in 2015.

One thing to keep in mind when networks and leagues compare the current game audience to anything before 2020 is Nielsen It did not measure viewership outside the home (Bars, restaurants, hotels, watch parties in other homes, etc.) This means that games before 2020 are likely to get more viewership than what has been officially reported.

However, the NFL’s stifling grip on American television is astonishing. Next is the challenge for that: chargers and Chiefs at 8:15 p.m. Thursday on the season’s first broadcast of “Football Thursday” on Amazon Prime Video and Amazon-owned Twitch as it airs on TV only in local markets in Los Angeles and Kansas City. TNF averaged 16.4 million viewers on Fox, NFL Network and Amazon last season, and Amazon reportedly told advertisers to expect upwards of 12 million this season behind the paywall.

(And the Here’s how to find all the live games Amidst a bewildering spectacle of grids and banners in 2022.)

college football: One of the game’s main forces — on the field and on television — drove a weekend full of wild games and turmoil, as 10.59 million people watched on Fox in Alabama. Struggling to win Texas, 20-19.

That was the network’s “Big Noun” game and comes a week after two teams of college football fans, Ohio State And the Notre Dameaveraging 10.53 million in prime time on ABC.

The scarlet tideThe network said its victory peaked with 15.12 million viewers from 3:15-3:30 p.m. Fox said the game was the fourth most watched game in the network’s history, after only the Ohio State and Michigan games.

Last season, no college game rolled out double the million views in the regular season until Ohio State-Michigan (15.9 million, Fox) and Alabama-Auburn (10.36 million, CBS) in Week 13, according to Sports Media Watch’s audience tracking.

Three more games last week topped 4 million viewers:

  • Defeat Clemson 41-10 from Georgia Tech At peak time on September 5 (a Monday without the NFL) he averaged 4.85 million healthy despite the points difference.
  • On Saturday, Tennessee beat Pitt, 34-27, in overtime on ABC at mid-afternoon, averaging 4.45 million viewers.
  • Kentucky26-16 win over the host Florida On prime time Saturday on ESPN it averaged 4.33 million viewers.

In other interesting encounters, 2.47 million people watched Marshall Thunder in South Bend and dumbfounded Notre Dame, 26-21, at the start of Saturday afternoon on NBC. Maybe this peacock should have been exclusive?


New Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman’s new squad is 0-3 after a stunning home loss to Marshall in front of 2.47 million viewers on NBC. (Matt Kashore / USA Today)

Appalachian State, perhaps best known to many fans for its historical annoyance with Michigan In 2007, Export then no. 6 Texas A&M, 17-14, at College Station in shock watched by 1.77 million Saturday late afternoon on ESPN2.

South GeorgiaThe 45-42 road turbulence in Nebraska in prime time Saturday on FS1 averaged 1.24 million viewers.

ABC prime-time broadcast on Saturday from USC beating stanford41-28, averaged 2.9 million.

Reminder that sports viewership is driven by many factors: match, storylines, star players, kick-off time, day of the week, broadcast vs cable, competition on other channels, blast or excitement, etc.

Audience numbers were not immediately available for the Michigan-Hawaii or Ohio State-Arkansas State games on the Big Ten Network.

WNBA: 1 . game The WNBA Finals averaged 555,000 viewers in Las Vegas Aces Beating the Connecticut Sun, 67-64, on Sunday at ABC.

It was reported at 3 p.m., which means that some audience has likely been hijacked by NFL games. Three Finals face NFL competition, though Thursday’s Game 3 may suffer less because “Thursday Night Football” is now broadcast on Amazon Prime Video rather than nationwide on Fox and the NFL Network.

A year ago, the four-game Chicago Sky-Phoenix Mercury Finals averaged 548,000 viewers on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. This was the best average audience in a WNBA Finals since 559,000 in 2017.

Viewers of W’s 2022 regular season on Disney-owned networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ABC) Averaged 372,000 per game It was the best since 2008 and increased 21 percent from 2021. With CBS games included, WNBA games averaged 379,000 viewers this season.

The league playoffs headed to the Finals were an even bigger success story, averaging 439,000 viewers on ESPN — the best average since 2002, according to Sports Media Watch.

Game 2 of the Finals is at 9 p.m. Tuesday with The Suns at the Aces, and Game 3 is at 9 p.m. Thursday, both on ESPN. Game 4 will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday, and Game 5 will be at 9 p.m. on September 20, also on ESPN.

Tennis: The US Open saw new names crowned as singles champions this past weekend, but ESPN audience metrics plummeted without Serena Williams or the famous men’s names that have long dominated.

Carlos Alcaraz is 19 years old, Spain She won the men’s singles title on Sundayby defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud in four sets on ESPN with 2.15 million views.

On the women’s side, Poland’s Iga Šwijtek defeated Tunisian Anas Jabeur in consecutive rounds on Saturday. The average viewership was 1.77 million viewers.

The tournament earlier enjoyed television promotion for Williams’ final matches before retirement. The Goats lost in the third round in three sets to Agla Tomljanovic on September 2 Average The network said it had 4.8 million viewers, making it the largest tennis audience in ESPN history. He broke the 3.9 million mark when Roger Federer won Wimbledon in 2012.

ESPN has reportedly agreed to pay US$770 million as of 2015 for 11 years of exclusive broadcast rights in the US Open. CBS had previously held the rights for 45 years.

All viewing data is from Nielsen, Adobe Analytics, and other metrics across network television, Nielsen, Sports Media Watch, ShowBuzz Daily, and leagues. All times Eastern unless otherwise noted.

(Top image: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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