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Week 1 Review : NFL Broadcast Views Maximising Attention?

T
he National Football League (NFL) has opened its 2021 season with a 7% lift in overall viewership compared to last season as its week one game averaged 17.4 million viewers in the United States.

The NFL also produced 23.2 billion minutes for viewers consumption during its first week of games marking it the most prominent season-opening figure since 2016.

Additionally, the return of full capacity stadiums has boosted the NFL views as the game was the sixth most-watched broadcast across the US in that week.

The Walt Disney Co.’s coverage of Monday Night Football received 15.29 million viewers across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

ESPN delivered its best week one viewership for that program since 2013 and an increase of 59% compared to last year’s Monday Night Football week 1.

ESPN Chairman, Jimmy Pitaro, said: “(The) Monday Night Football presentation demonstrated ESPN’s continued creative evolution and unparalleled ability to reach fans through every available platform.”

CBS Sports drew in 19.54 million viewers for the Kansas City v Cleveland game and averaged 16.59 million viewers for the overall Monday night game, up 21% compared to the network’s coverage at the start of the 2020 season.

Fox Sports broadcast, however, drew in 16.2 million viewers on the Sunday night game, down 37% from the competition last season.

Fox Sports executive vice president and head of strategy, Mike Mulvihill, tweeted: “Data-driven insight of the week: having your two lead games in a doubleheader decided by a combining score of 70-9 tends to not be great for viewership.”