At the midway point of the NFL season, the league is continuing to experience a slight uptick in TV viewership compared to the 2017 season.
Week 7 was the first week this season that the majority of windows were down year-over-year, but the league bounced back once more with a solid Week 8. It started on Thursday night with a Dolphins-Texans matchup that scored a 7.5 rating, up seven percent from 2017. Then, during the weekend slate, CBS scored a big increase with its singleheader games seeing a 13 percent increase overall.
Sunday Night Football saw a modest increase of three percent, with the rematch of the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings garnering a 9.7 rating despite being pitted directly against the clinching game of the World Series.
The late afternoon national window wasn’t as fortunate, with the Packers and Rams matchup seeing a slight decline compared with last year, but still a strong 15.0 rating.
Overall, as USA Today reported yesterday, most of the networks have seen increases in viewership this season and CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus told the paper that he believes there are several reasons behind it.
“There have been a lot of really good storylines: young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes playing well, the Los Angeles Rams have driven a lot of interest and there have been several overtime games,” McManus told USA Today Sports. “The NFL has and for the foreseeable future will be the strongest programming on television.”
While the ratings are still down from the NFL’s peak in 2015, the league has continued to post good numbers in the midst of an overall decline in general TV viewership across the board.