It’s a good time to be an NFL broadcast partner. Business is good.
The NFL has been the kingpin of professional American sports viewership, and television ratings recently released by the league drive home that point. The NFL dominated the fall television calendar – and not just in comparison to sports.
NFL games were 34 of the 35 most watched fall TV shows in America. The only non-NFL game that cracked the top 35 TV shows was coverage of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC, which ranked No. 22.
The numbers on the NFL’s viewership are staggering:
- The league averaged 17.6 million viewers per game.
- 205 million Americans watched at least one NFL game
- 31.7 million people watched the Thanksgiving day game between the Raiders and Cowboys, the top-rated TV program of the fall.
As impressive as the numbers were for the regular season, the good news for the NFL is that viewership has continued to increase during the playoffs. The CBS broadcast of the Broncos-Chargers divisional round matchup averaged 41.1 million viewers, and just imagine the ratings that Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady will bring in for the AFC Championship.
We’ll see if this year’s Super Bowl can set the mark for the most viewed television program in U.S. history, which is currently held by Super Bowl XLVI’s 111.3 million viewers.