The interest of the public following the season of the National Football League (NFL) through television has increased by a 17 percent compared to the same four-week period evaluated a year ago, according to a report released Wednesday by the entity.
Compared to the same period observed in 2019, the audience grew 3 percent in 2021, the source added.
In the first four weeks of the current season, the average that follows the games is around the 17.3 million viewers. Last season was played in full uncertainty due to the consequences of the pandemic, with empty stadiums, as well as extreme measures of care for players and coaches.
The league has had the 21 highest rated shows since the beginning of the season. The two best matches have featured Tom brady and the champion of Super Bowl Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The return of Brady to New England last Sunday was the biggest draw, averaging 26.7 million of spectators, with the first game of the season against the Cowboys from Dallas second when registering 24.8 million.
The match between Patriots and Buccaneers it was NBC’s second most watched since the package began airing “Sunday Night Football “in 2006.
“I think the league at the moment is working at full speed, “said the president of NBC Sports Group, Pete Bevacqua. “As much as last year it was a wonderful achievement to start the season without delay, you can see what the packed stadiums have added, along with the power and passion that the fans bring. “
What’s more, Bevacqua stressed that not only the confrontations on paper were presented interesting and attractive for the fans but then on the field they became “incredible duels“. Four of the five networks that transmit the league have a growth superior to the 20 percent.
The three games on Thursday night of the NFL Network averaged 8.1 million, up 29 percent more than last season and the highest average since 2018.
The match between Jacksonville-Cincinnati last Thursday averaged 8.5 million, the best performance for a meeting not shared by Fox or CBS since the 2018 Cleveland Browns-New York Jets game.
The package of NBC is at 23.1 million, an increase of 24 percent and its best average at this point in the season since 2015. CBS (17.87 million) and Monday Night Football ESPN’s (14.2 million) are up 22 percent.
Fox has the highest Sunday afternoon average at 18 million, but that’s a 2 percent increase from last season. Fox did not have an exclusive doubleheader in Week 1, which could be one of the reasons for a not so great audience increase.
Matches with very close scores are also a factor in audience increases. At this point, a league record came after 15 of the 64 games played were decided by touchdown. winner in the last minute of regulation time or in overtime.