NFL regular season viewership was down 3% from last season, which was not unexpected as “Thursday Night Football” moved from Fox and NFL Network to streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

The 272 regular season games averaged 16.7 million viewers on television and digital platforms. The league also said 185 million fans watched games at some point during the 18 weeks.

Despite the drop, it’s the third-highest average since 2016. Last season he averaged 17.1 million.

NBC, Fox, and CBS all saw increases in viewers over the past season. Viewership for ESPN declined, but tended to be flat or slightly up on January 1. 2 game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals has been played. Play was suspended midway through the first quarter when Bills safety damar hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest.


According to Nielsen figures, the “Thursday Night Football” 15-game package on Prime Video averaged 9.58 million viewers. Amazon’s own audience measurement showed an average of 11.3 million.

Amazon told advertisers it was estimating an average audience of 12.6 million, based on Nielsen figures. Amazon signed a three-year deal with Nielsen to track ratings. It was the first time Nielsen had tracked and included ratings from a streaming service.

The additional numbers from Amazon’s tracking were due to the company’s ability to measure viewing on connected TVs, its apps, and who might be watching a separate stream on Twitch.

By comparison, Fox, NFL Network, Prime Video “Thursday Night Football” averaged 16.4 million.

The numbers, however, showed growth in other areas. Viewers on the 18-34 demo averaged 2.11 million, up 11% from last season. The average age of viewers was 47, seven years younger compared to other games.

Even with the games only available via streaming, “Thursday Night Football” was the most watched show 13 out of 15 times. One of the times he was beaten was in Game 5 of the World Series.


The biggest jump was CBS’s national game window. The 10 games at 4:25 p.m. ET averaged 23.50 million, an increase of 8%. The overall CBS average was 18.49 million, up 2%.

Fox saw 4% gains in both its total number (19.42 million) and the domestic 10-game package in the last window (24.13 million). Fox has six postseason games this season, including the Super Bowl.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was up 3% with an average of 19.9 million. Nine of Sunday night’s games averaged at least 20 million, which was their best performance in three years.


ESPN’s package of 15 “Monday Night Football” games and two Saturday games in week 18 saw an average of 13.79 million, a decrease of 3%.

ESPN and ABC aired two Monday night games at the same time on September 19. Factoring in those games, the average fell to 13.41 million over 19 games.

The Buffalo-Cincinnati game was averaging 21.1 million before Hamlin’s collapse. The average grew to 23.9 million over the last hour. Since the game was cancelled, ESPN has not included the numbers in its final average.

The season opener between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, which was russell wilson‘s first game with the Broncos and against his former team had a viewership of 19.8 million, MNF’s best viewership since the package went to ESPN in 2006.


The most viewed games ended up being on Thanksgiving. The New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys contest on Fox averaged 42.1 million and the first game between the Bills and Detroit Lions on CBS drew 31.9 million.

NBC’s highest viewership also came on Thanksgiving Day, with the prime-time game between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings drawing 25.6 million, the ninth-best during the regular season.

Fox had five of the top 10 games, while CBS had four and NBC one.

Regular season games were ranked as the top 25 and 47 of the top 50.

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