NFL 2019 Regular-Season Games Grow 5%, NBC's 'SNF' Averages 20 Million Viewers

NFL 2019 regular-season football posted a strong 5% year-over-year viewership gain for all its national TV games -- averaging 16.5 million, according to Nielsen.

The league also witnessed a 51% rise in digital viewership, to 487,000 from all its digital media outlets -- NFL, Verizon, and TV network broadcast platforms.

The best results continued to come from NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” averaging 20 million Nielsen-measured average viewers -- up 5% from a year before. “SNF” also continued its long nine-year run as TV’s top prime-time series.

Strong NFL gains were also made by Fox’s “Thursday Night Football” 11-game schedule, rising 6% to 15.1 million viewers.

Fox’s Sunday afternoon games grew 7% to 18.3 million, while CBS’ Sunday games were up 3% to 16.7 million. 

Those two networks also posted the five best individual games in terms of overall viewership -- and two of these came on Thanksgiving Thursday:



Buffalo-Dallas (week 13), CBS, 32.6 million; Dallas-New England (week 12) Fox, 29.9 million; Kansas City-New England (week 14CBS, 28.3 million; Chicago-Detroit (week 13) Fox, 27.1 million; and Dallas-Philadelphia (week 16) Fox, 25.7 million.

Looking at cable-only NFL games, ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” was up 5% to 11.98 million.

Five exclusive NFL Network “Thursday Night Football” games posted a 4% increase to 7.3 million.

2 comments about "NFL 2019 Regular-Season Games Grow 5%, NBC's 'SNF' Averages 20 Million Viewers".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 6, 2020 at 8:33 a.m.

    Wayne, I assume that the 487,000 viewers who "watched" an average NFL game via digital means represents "streamers" not average minute viewers. If that assumption is correct, then the average minute audience attained digitally was probably only around 150,000---as a guess----which is a rather small number compared to the "linear TV" stats quoted.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, January 7, 2020 at 6:57 p.m.

    What if it was the commonly used 'stream starts' - how much lower would it be?

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