The NFL suffered a slight decrease in television viewership for the 2022 regular season. But that was due mainly to turning “Thursday Night Football” into a streaming-only property.
And “The Shield” continued to dominate the airwaves, generating 88 of the Top 100 most-watched TV shows during the calendar year.
Details on the NFL’s ‘22 regular season TV performance across media partners Amazon, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and CBS Sports:
- NFL regular season games averaged 16.7 million viewers this season. That’s down 2% from the 17.1 million average viewers during the 2021 season. But for the first time ever, the league went all-digital with one of its national game packages, streaming TNF exclusively on Amazon Prime Video (except for local TV markets) compared to a tricast across Fox, NFL Network, and Amazon last year.
- To put the NFL’s regular season 16.7 million average in perspective, it topped the Oscars (16.6 million), NBA Finals (12.4 million), MLB World Series (11.8 million), Grammy Awards (8.9 million) and NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals (4.6 million). The league will kick off its Wild Card Weekend on Saturday – where viewership will be exponentially higher.
- How about those Dallas Cowboys? America’s Team played in four of the Top 5 most-watched regular season games. Fox’s broadcast of the Cowboys vs. New York Giants and CBS’ telecast of Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day were the two most-watched games of the regular season. Cowboys-Giants averaged 42.1 million viewers, while Bills-Lions drew 31.9 million viewers. Four of the Top 5 most-watched games involved all NFC matchups. The Bills were the only AFC team to crack the Top 5.
- 185 million people watched NFL games this season, according to the league. Since the kickoff of the regular season, NFL games generated 47 of the Top 50 telecasts. The only non-NFL telecasts to crack the Top 50 were the Ohio State-Georgia Peach Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal (No. 26); Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (No. 27), and TCU-Michigan Fiesta Bowl CFP Semifinal (No. 30).