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Sports NFL's opening week averages 17.4 million on TV

06:05  15 september  2021
06:05  15 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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NEW YORK -- NFL ratings are at their highest in 20 years. Through the first four weeks of the season, games are drawing their best average viewership since 1989 at 17 . 4 million , up 14 percent from the same point in 2008. Sunday doubleheader games starting at 4:15 EDT this year on CBS and Fox have averaged 22.3 million viewers, which ranks as television ' s most-watched show on a weekly basis. Monday night' s Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings matchup on ESPN was the most-watched show in cable TV history with 21.8 million viewers.

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The NFL's kickoff weekend ended up having the second-highest TV ratings for Week 1 over the past five seasons.

  NFL's opening week averages 17.4 million on TV © Provided by The Canadian Press

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.

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The average of 24. 4 million viewers on NBC makes it television ' s most-watched show since February' s Super Bowl on CBS. The audience peaked at 25. 4 million between 9:45-10 p.m. ET. Even though the league' s new television deal doesn't officially kick in until 2023, some elements are That means both networks will have 10 doubleheader weeks as the league expands to 17 games over 18 weeks for the first time. Sunday will mark 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

The NFL ’ s season- opening game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans was the most-watched show on network television on Thursday night, according to preliminary ratings. The audience figure did not include out-of-home viewership, which will be available next week and added to the final audience number. Digital platforms drew an average per-minute audience of 970,000 viewers. Ratings for the NFL ' s Thursday night debut were down 13 percent compared to last year’s debut game, which drew an average audience of 22.12 million , according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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.

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The network entered the NFL opener after drawing 7.7 million viewers for its Saturday Oregon vs Ohio State college game. The NFL commenced its 102nd season last Thursday with an average of 26 million total viewers for its Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys contest. NBC said the game peaked on TV at 25. 4 million viewers between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. The 2021 opener marked a 20% increase in total viewership from last year' s NFL kickoff featuring the Chiefs and Texans. Overall, the NFL said it' s Week 1 games combined averaged 17 . 4 million viewers, and drew "approximately"

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.

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More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Joe Reedy, The Associated Press

NFL's opening week averages 17.4 million on TV .
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.

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