It was a good year for the NFL when it comes to viewership. The league saw its TV audience grow by 5% across all windows over last season. It’s no surprise that viewership is up given the league’s desire to address bad TV lineups for Monday and Thursday night packages. The biggest surprise might be where numbers rose.
NBC is touting an 8th straight year of Sunday Night Football being the most watched show in primetime. While that package did experience the largest growth of any NFL TV window, it was not the league’s most watched. The late national window on Sunday afternoons saw its audience eclipse 22 million people, making it the most watched NFL window on television.
Fox also got some good news. Viewership on the network is still down from where it was in 2016, but it make a small gain in 2018. The audience grew by 2%. That is the first time NFL viewership has grown year-to-year since 2013, when the network saw a 6% growth over 2012’s numbers.
These numbers do not include the streaming audience that the league has only recently embraced. Still though, NFL viewership has some room to grow before it is back at the levels it saw five years ago.