NFL Regular Season Games Draw Record Viewers For Broadcast & Streaming – Deadline
If there’s one thing the broadcast networks can rely on, it’s pro football. The NFL regular season came to an end over the weekend, after delivering record-breaking viewership for 18 weeks across Fox, NBC and CBS.
CBS managed an impressive 23.5M average total viewers for its 10 Sunday national game windows, which is the 4:25 p.m. time slot.
According to the network, viewers consumed 105.2B minutes of NFL on CBS during the regular season. That’s including audiences for games on CBS Sports, which averaged 18.5M viewers across the regular season.
CBS ended the season with 22.7M viewers for Sunday’s Bills-Patriots game, which is a 35% increase year-over-year for the network’s final game of the season.
Regular season delivered an average of 19.4M viewers for Fox, which was up 4% over last year’s average of 18.6M — the league’s largest year-over-year increase on any network this season.
The network’s America’s Game of the Week, which airs in the national time slot, averaged 24.1M viewers. That is projected to be the most-watched television program for the 14th straight year. It’s Fox’s best season for America’s Game of the Week since 2019 and is up 4% from last year’s 23.2M average.
As for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the network was up 3% from last season and scored its best viewership since 2019 with an average of 19.9M viewers across the 18-week season. Audiences watched nearly 72B minutes of Sunday Night Football on NBC, according to the network.
Sunday night’s Lions-Packers season finale averaged 23.6M viewers, which made it the most-watched Sunday Night Football season finale in six year and the largest Sunday audience since week one. The matchup also marked the ninth Sunday Night Football game for NBC with over 20M viewers. That’s the most since 2019 and up from just five games last season.
Of course, broadcast audiences are only one part of a larger picture, which is increasingly including streaming. ESPN hasn’t released season averages yet, though they’re sure to be impressive as well. ABC also began simulcasting ESPN’s Monday Night Football matchups this season, opening the door for a much larger audience for the Disney-owned linear channels.
NBC Sports Digital also posted a viewership milestone for Sunday Night Football, delivering an average of 1.17M viewers. With a boost from Peacock, it’s the first time that the digital platforms have averaged more than a million viewers across an entire season. It’s up 38% from last year’s average of 843,000.
Paramount+ also featured live NFL on CBS local market games this season, boasting the most-streamed NFL regular-season ever and recording double-digit audience growth. CBS didn’t provide an exact number here.
This season, Prime Video took over Thursday Night Football. The season averaged 11.3M viewers, according to the streamer. Six games crossed the 10M mark in terms of average audience, which is a competitive figure for live sports on streaming and rivals any programming across broadcast and cable during primetime on Thursdays.
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