Through two weeks of the NFL TV season, national TV viewership has seen a slight 2.5% decline versus a year ago.
Looking at all TV packages -- “Sunday Night Football,” Sunday afternoon games, “Thursday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football -- the average Nielsen viewership is at 15.7 million viewers versus 16.1 million a year ago.
The highest-rated TV viewership of the week came from a late Sunday afternoon game on CBS — New England vs.Jacksonville — which pulled in 20.97 million. This was down 19% from the same game in 2017.
NBC’s big “Sunday Night Football” game — New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys — posted 20.66 million viewers — up 2% from the same game in 2017. The biggest improving game came from Fox’s airing of Green Bay vs. Minnesota, 17.62 million, up 21%.
Just looking at the second week of the NFL season, viewership averaged 15.1 million, versus week two in 2017 of 15.8 million. Week one this year averaged 16.3 million versus 16.4 million last year.
So far, the highest-rated game of the year occurred in week one, the Sunday afternoon Dallas vs. Carolina game on Fox, with 23.3 million viewers, 2% above the same game a year ago.
The top five national TV advertisers through two weeks, according to iSpot.tv, were: GEICO, $21.8 million; Verizon, $20.4 million; Hyundai, $15.8 million; Samsung Mobile, $13.3 million; and Chervolet, $12.6 million.