Two weeks in, the NFL season has shown a 3% gain in national TV viewers versus a year ago, as well as a 4% hike in national/regional TV advertising revenues.
One major reason is a strong week one, with three games posting more than 20 million Nielsen-measured viewers. Those three games featured top rivalries -- the New York Giants/Dallas Cowboys (23.9 million viewers); the New England Patriots/Pittsburgh Steelers (22.2 million); and the Green Bay Packers/Chicago Bears (22.0 million).
The first week's seven national/regional games average was 17.2 million viewers -- up 6% from 16.3 million viewers in the first week a year ago.
The 2017 first week pulled in 16.4 million viewers. The second week averaged 15.13 million viewers, flat versus the same week a year ago.
The first two weeks of the NFL season are estimated to have pulled in $475.9 million in national/regional advertising revenue across all NFL national TV channels -- CBS, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, and Fox -- according to iSpot.tv.
In 2018, the first two weeks witnessed $459.6 million in TV ad spend.
This season's biggest spenders so far -- as well as those with the most commercial airings -- include Bud Light, Verizon, Geico, State Farm, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Buffalo Wild Wings, Corona Extra, McDonald's, and Home Depot.