New York, Oct 6 (EFE) .- The interest of the public that follows the season of the National Football League (NFL) through television has increased by 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 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 programs since the start of the season.
The best two games have featured Tom Brady and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady’s return to New England last Sunday was the biggest draw, averaging 26.7 million viewers, with the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys in second place at 24.8 million.
The game between the Patriots and Buccaneers was NBC’s second-most-watched game since the “Sunday Night Football” package began airing in 2006.
“I think the league right now is on full blast,” said NBC Sports Group President Pete Bevacqua. “As much as last year 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.”
In addition, Bevacqua stressed that not only did the matches on paper appear interesting and attractive for the fans, but later on the field they turned into “incredible” matches.
Four of the five channels that transmit the league have a growth of more than 20%.
The NFL Network’s three Thursday night games averaged 8.1 million, 29% more than last season and the highest average since 2018.
Last Thursday’s Jacksonville-Cincinnati game averaged 8.5 million, the best performance for a meeting not shared by Fox or CBS since the Cleveland Browns-New York Jets game in 2018.
NBC’s package is at 23.1 million, an increase of 24% and its best average at this point in the season since 2015. CBS (17.87 million) and ESPN’s Monday Night Football (14.2 million) are up. 22%.
Fox has the highest Sunday afternoon average at 18 million, but that’s a 2% 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-large viewership 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 a winning touchdown in the last minute of regulation time or in overtime. EFE
rm / mbj / hbr
(c) EFE Agency