The NFL announced on Thursday that a record 108.4 million people -- which is about a third of the U.S. population -- tuned in to watch football on kickoff weekend. Week 1, which featured four prime-time games and unbridled optimism for almost all of the 32 teams involved (sorry, Jacksonville). Week 1 has garnered over 105 million viewers on CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN the last four years, but this is a new high watermark.
Packers-49ers on FOX Sunday drew 28.5 million, while Giants-Cowboys attracted 28.5 million on Sunday Night Football and Ravens-Broncos hit 25.1 on NBC Thursday night. FOX and ESPN both had their biggest Week 1 numbers of all time.
And check this out, via the NFL's press release:
NFL games ranked first in all 30 NFL markets for the fifth consecutive Kickoff Weekend. NFL games also topped the ratings in 50 of Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, with college football games as the highest-rated program in the other six markets. In addition, the second-highest rated show in 26 of the 30 NFL markets was also NFL programming.
There were also zero local blackouts and there won't be any in Week 2 either.
Remember when I told you to get used to the idea of NFL TV ratings dropping? Yeah, forget I said that.
"a record 108.4 million people -- which is about a third of the U.S. population -- tuned in to watch football on kickoff weekend."
Yeah, if they're just adding up the viewership numbers for the various windows, I don't buy that 108 million people actually watched some football. There's gotta be a ton of duplication.