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NFL Remains King of TV Ratings with Strong Preseason

  • The NFL has already seen its exhibition games outperform MLB, NASCAR, and others in TV ratings.
  • The league's regular season kicks off on Sept. 8.
Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The NFL has once again proved it’s the most popular professional sports league in America — as long as we’re counting the preseason.

The league has already seen its exhibition games outperform MLB, NASCAR, and others in TV ratings in the U.S. — two weeks before the NFL’s regular season kicks off on Sept. 8. 

  • Fox’s broadcast of Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals averaged 3.22 million viewers. 
  • The broadcast marked the week’s most-watched and highest-rated sporting event with a 2.0 household rating, according to Nielsen.
  • In comparison, Fox’s “Field of Dreams” broadcast on Aug. 11 between MLB’s Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs averaged 3.1 million viewers.
  • USA Network’s broadcast of NASCAR’s Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond Raceway averaged 2.56 million viewers on Aug. 14. 

The 2022 NFL preseason, which has two games remaining for all teams, got off to a hot start.

NBC’s broadcast of the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 6 between Las Vegas and Jacksonville — which included a rain delay — drew 5.48 million viewers as the Raiders defeated the Jaguars 27-11 in Canton, Ohio. 

Valuable Asset 

On Monday, Forbes unveiled its list of the most valuable NFL teams in 2022 — and the Dallas Cowboys topped the list for a 16th consecutive year and became the first team to be valued at $8 billion.

The league’s 32 teams are now worth an average of $4.47 billion — a 28% increase year-over-year.