Two weeks into the NFL season show a 7% decline in the average Nielsen-measured viewing per game across all networks -- to 15.0 million viewers versus the same period a year ago.
By comparison, two weeks into the 2019 season showed a slight 3% gain versus the same period in 2018.
After a decent, but not stellar, first week this season (with Fox’s Sunday afternoon game getting to 25.8 million viewers and NBC's "NFL Kickoff" on Thursday at 20.5 million) -- there were no individual games in the second week pulling in more than 20 million viewers.
The highest-rated game in Week Two was on CBS with 18.9 million viewers, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl champions vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
Helping to keep the losses to a minimum, the second week of “Monday Night Football” (New Orleans Saints vs. the Las Vegas Raiders) ran not just on ESPN, but on ABC (the original home of “MNF”) as well as ESPN2. This pulled in a collective 15.6 million viewers.
The week before, ESPN struggled with the first "MNF" of the season -- a doubleheader that pulled in 10.7 million and then 7.7 million viewers, respectively. This compares to the 2019 first week "MNF" double header, with 13.1 million and 10.6 million, respectively.
NBC’s highly rated “Sunday Night Football” had an underwhelming 18.9 million in the first week and 17.7 million (New England Patriots vs. the Seattle Seahawks) in the second week. A year before, "SNF" came in at 22.1 million for the first week and 17.6 million for the second week.
Top ten national TV advertisers across all NFL networks -- NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, NFL Network, ABC, and ESPN2 -- for the first two weeks, according to iSpot.tv: Geico, Progressive Insurance, AT&T Wireless, Verizon, Apple iPhone, DraftKings, Toyota Motors, State Farm, the NFL, and T-Mobile.
Next came the “Biden for President” campaign -- with 35 airings over two weeks, and an estimated $9.4 million in national TV spend.