NEWS Viewer gap widens for NFL games and everything else

Viewer gap widens for NFL games and everything else

In 2022, sporting events, especially the NFL, will dominate TV viewing.According to data recently released by Nielsen
Neural Networks
, Sports accounted for 94 of the 100 most-watched TV shows last year. The NFL alone accounted for 82 of the 100 televised games, up from 75 in 2021. The rest of the year’s most-watched sporting events are five college football games, three World Cup games, two college basketball games, a Winter Olympics (which airs after the Super Bowl) and the Kentucky Derby.

Four of the remaining six telecasts were live news events broadcast on multiple channels; State of the Union address, midterm election results, first televised Jan. 6 committee hearing and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the U.S. Capitol speech. Also in the top 100 are the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Oscars. No World Series or NBA Finals finish in the top 100.

Sports has rightly been called the last sustainable remnant of linear television’s once-dominant dominance.according to sportsThe Most Viewed Scripted Entertainment TV Show of the Year Is the Premiere yellowstone park season five airs on several paramounts
global network. The show averaged just 12.5 million viewers. The most-watched entertainment show for all of 2022 is FBI On CBS, the average is a paltry 7.2 million viewers.

General audience regular season

NFL games (millions)

2022 16.7

2021 17.1

2020 15.4

2019 16.5

2018 15.8

2017 15.0

2016 16.5

2015 18.7

2014 17.6

Source: Nielsen

While ratings continue to dominate, the NFL’s ratings are down for the 2022 regular season. Across all viewing sources, the average total viewership was 16.7 million, compared to 17.1 million in 2021.The slight decline was mainly due to Amazon
Prime Exclusives thursday night football Replacing last season’s Big Three of Fox, NFL Network and Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime: In the first regular season covered by the NFL, Nielsen reported an average of 9.6 million viewers on Amazon, including any over-the-air and out-of-home viewing. (Amazon’s first-party viewership measurement reported 11.3 million viewers.) Amazon’s game was the lowest-rated Thursday night since TNF was broadcast exclusively on the NFL Network in 2013. Thursday games averaged 16.4 million viewers last season. despite this, thursday night football Thirteen of Thursday’s 15 games were the most-watched shows on all of television.

Amazon notes that the average age at their Thursday night games is 47, seven years younger than NFL games on linear TV. Additionally, Amazon reports that 49% of its viewers are 18-49 year olds, compared to 35% for NFL games on linear TV and 22% for all linear primetime TV. Nielsen reports that Amazon Prime’s football coverage has a median household income of $98,500, higher than linear TV’s $82,800.

NBC: national broadcasting company sunday night football It’s on track to be TV’s most-watched prime-time show for the 12th straight year. In 2022, NBC’s Sunday night shows with NFL games will average 19.9 million total viewers (TAD), up 3% from 2021 (19.3 million). It was their highest ratings since 2019. NBC has nine games averaging more than 20 million viewers this season and five in 2021. The final game of the year (Detroit vs. Green Bay) averaged 23.6 million viewers, making it NBC’s most-watched season finale since 2016. NBC’s most-watched game of the season came on Thanksgiving night (New England vs. Minnesota), with 24.8 million viewers. On opening weekend, Sunday Night Football averaged 23.2 million viewers (Tampa vs. Dallas).

2022, sunday night football Set audience records for digital media (Peacock,, NBC Sports app and NFL Digital properties), averaging 1.17 million viewers per minute. The AMA is up 36 percent from 2021 (843,000), marking the first time Sunday Night Football’s digital audience surpassed 1 million.

CBS: NFL games on CBS will average 18.5 million viewers in the 2022 season, the highest viewer delivery in seven years. The ten Games, which began at 4:25 p.m. ET, averaged 23.5 million viewers. CBS’s most-watched telecast was an early Thanksgiving game (Buffalo vs. Detroit), with an average viewership of 31.6 million. The game was the most-watched early Thanksgiving game since at least 1988. Another bright spot in ratings was the final week of the season (New England vs. Buffalo), which averaged 22.7 million viewers, a 35% increase over the corresponding game in 2021 and the highest-rated final week since 2011 televised.

fox: For Fox’s 2022 regular season, the network averages 19.4 million viewers, up 4% from the previous year. “America’s Best Game of the Week,” 4:25 p.m. ET Game Averaging 24.1 Million Viewers, Most Viewed TV Show in 14 Yearsday for one year in a row.

The most-watched regular-season (and historical) game was the 4:25 p.m. ET Thanksgiving game (New York Giants vs. Dallas), with an average of 42.1 million viewers. The viewership surpassed the 41.5 million generated by a Monday night game between the Giants and San Francisco on ABC in December 1990. By comparison, last season’s late Thanksgiving afternoon game between Las Vegas and Dallas averaged 40.8 million viewers. The Thanksgiving game kicks off Fox Sports’ weekend of extravaganza, with the U.S. playing World Cup soccer against England the next day and college football rival and undefeated Ohio State taking on undefeated Michigan on Saturday.

The three Thanksgiving games are the most-watched regular season games on CBS, Fox and NBC, averaging 33.5 million viewers. Next season, Amazon Prime will broadcast an NFL game on Black Friday.

ESPN/ABC: most concerned monday night football Cincinnati vs. Buffalo is billed as a big showdown between the two Super Bowl contenders. The game ends up being completely different. Buffalo’s Daman Hamlin went down midway through the first quarter and went into cardiac arrest twice after a tackle. The game was quickly postponed and later canceled as Hamlin was taken to an area hospital.As the event made national headlines, ESPN’s coverage ended at 10:09 p.m. ET with an average viewership of 23.8 million, the most-watched monday night football “The Game” Since ESPN started broadcasting the game in 2006.

for this season monday night football It averaged 13.8 million viewers, down 3% from 2021. (Ratings do not include the Buffalo-Cincinnati game.) The ratings highlight was the season opener; Denver vs. Seattle, with an average of 19.8 million viewers.

Christmas: As the NFL continues to rule Thanksgiving, Christmas falls on a Sunday, with three games televised by the league. These games go head-to-head with five NBA games aired on ABC/ESPN. Turns out it wasn’t a game, with an average NFL game viewership of 21.9 million and an NBA game’s 4.3 million viewers.

Reason for record viewing: The continued strong ratings can be attributed to several other reasons besides the NFL’s marketing clout. Two years ago, Nielsen began adding outdoor viewers to their general audience. As a result, outdoor viewers have been incorporated into all telecasts, with the NFL (and other premier live sporting events) benefiting the most. For example, of the record 42.1 million average viewers for Fox’s Thanksgiving game, 39% (16.6 million) watched the game outside their home.

Additionally, the availability of legal bets continues to grow. Ahead of the 2022 season, the American Gaming Association predicts a record 46.6 million U.S. adults (18%) plan to bet on NFL games, up 3% from 2021. Another reason is the continued popularity and growth of fantasy football (another form of betting). ESPN, which hosts the most popular fantasy football games, has a record 11 million engagements and 17.6 million fantasy teams in 2022 ahead of the 2022 season.

Another reason for viewers to keep watching (especially if you’re betting or playing in fantasy leagues) is the number of close games. axiom Of the 271 games played in the 2022 season, 122 (45 percent) were reportedly within six points. The previous high was in 2016, when 107 of 256 games were played (41.8%).

Finally, the emergence of digital media as a viewing resource has attracted younger, more affluent audiences. Regular season games are now available on TV streaming partners like NBC’s Peacock and CBS’s Paramount+. Also, while Amazon Prime fell short of their audience guarantee for TNF, its coverage was well received by viewers. The NFL will continue to expand its digital footprint next year when season ticket packages for games outside the market move from DirecTV to YouTube in a seven-year, $2 billion-per-year deal.

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