Across all viewing platforms, the National Football League had its most successful opening weekend since 2016, with a seven percent viewership increase over last year, after conservative media pundits lamented last year’s viewership dip.
The 16 NFL games broadcast Thursday through Monday saw an average of more than 17.4 million on television and digital platforms. The League also saw viewers watching longer, with 23.2 billion viewer-minutes clocked, the most since 2016, the Associated Press reports.
The 2020 NFL season was challenged by viewer fatigue from people in isolation, a season with no crowds at games, and viewers watching other media during the presidential campaign season.
Thursday’s season-opening game, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Dallas Cowboys, was the most-watched game of the week with 26.4 million viewers. Monday night’s Las Vegas Raiders overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens averaged 15.3 million viewers, the largest opening week Monday night game since 2013.