Sports NFL's opening week averages 17.4 million on TV
Cowboys rookie DT Osa Odighizuwa says Tom Brady is 'not very mobile'
Cowboys rookie Osa Odighizuwa said Dallas' defense will be keyed in on moving Tom Brady off his spot when the two teams meet in the NFL season opener.But the Cowboys rookie delving into his first professional game plan didn’t cower when asked what weakness most plagues the quarterback he will battle during the Cowboys-Bucs regular-season opener next Thursday.
The NFL's kickoff weekend ended up having the second-highest TV ratings for Week 1 over the past five seasons.
The 16 games averaged 17.4 million viewers on television and digital properties. That is a 7% increase over last season (16.3 million average) and nearly equal to 2019, which averaged 17.6 million and remains the highest since 2017.
The numbers were likely to increase after last season was played during the pandemic, with empty stadiums presenting a strange viewing dynamic, and many people’s viewing habits changing. The first half of the season also occurred in the midst of a presidential campaign, when some people were watching cable news channels.
NHL free agency 2021: Complete list of all 31 teams' UFA, RFA players
The new NHL contract year begins on July 28 at noon ET. Sporting News has put together team-by-team lists of the players on the market.The date circled is when unrestricted free agents begin signing with new teams, restricted free agents with arbitration rights begin having their next contracts dictated by a third party and general managers start playing the fun game of, "Should we or should we not do an offer sheet?"
NFL games ranked as the top six broadcasts for the past week. Nearly 23.2 billion minutes were viewed, making it the largest Week 1 minutes total since 2016.
The most-watched game of the week was last Thursday night’s 31-29 victory by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Dallas Cowboys. It averaged 26.4 million on NBC and digital, making it the most-watched first game of the season since 2015.
NBC averaged 22.8 million for the Thursday and Sunday games, which is an 11% increase over last year.
ESPN and Nielsen reported that the Monday night overtime thriller between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens averaged 15.3 million on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. It is the most watched “Monday Night Football” Week 1 game since 2013, when Philadelphia at Washington averaged 16.5 million. That included 800,000 for the Mannings Megacast on ESPN2.
The NFL's 25 highest-paid players in 2021, from Patrick Mahomes to DeMarcus Lawrence
As expected, quarterbacks dominate the list of the NFL's highest-paid players of 2021.If we're talking guaranteed money, Josh Allen ($150 million) takes the cake. If we're talking about year-to-year base salary, then Jimmy Garoppolo ($24.1 million) is the clubhouse leader, believe it or not. And in terms of total contract value, Patrick Mahomes' $450 million deal dwarfs all others.
The league’s new television deal doesn’t officially kick in until 2023, but some elements have started with the season expanding to 17 games over 18 weeks. This was the first year both CBS and Fox had doubleheaders on Week 1.
CBS reported the highest viewership of a Sunday game, with a 19.54 million average for the 4:25 p.m. ET game between the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. It is also the network's second-most watched opening week window since it resumed carrying games in 1998.
The CBS doubleheader averaged 16.59 million viewers, up 21% over last year. It was the first time CBS has had a Week 1 doubleheader since 2015. For many years it couldn’t air a doubleheader on the opening week because it was carrying the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Fox, which featured Green Bay and New Orleans, averaged 16.24 million for the 4:25 p.m. window and 13.57 million for the doubleheader.
The NFL said the two late windows on Sunday drew 6.3 billion total minutes, the highest on record for Week 1 since tracking started in 1988.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Joe Reedy, The Associated Press
NFL best bets Week 1: 49ers, Packers and Ravens among smartest picks to target .
Week 1 of the 2021 NFL seson is here, and there are plenty of opportunities of which bettors can take advantage. Here are the best bets for the first 16-game slate of the NFL season.If you're one of those people, maybe you need some tips and advice. Conversely, maybe you have experience and have spent months scouring odds, researching underdogs and sleepers and reviewing every NFL trend known to man and are now looking to confirm your findings.