Primetime Problems

    • Fox’s Sunday afternoon slot was the most watched TV show since the Super Bowl.
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Up against a robust slate of other sports, Week 1 of NFL primetime viewership was down across the board. ESPN saw double-digit decreases for its “Monday Night Football” doubleheader while NBC saw drops for both “Sunday Night Football” and its Thursday night season opener.

Despite the downturn, NBC’s games still ranked as two of the top three most-watched shows in primetime TV over the past seven months.

While the primetime games were all down compared to last year, Fox’s Sunday afternoon game — Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints — was the most-watched TV program since Super Bowl LIV in February. It had 25.8 million viewers, up 7% year-over-year.

NFL Week 1 Ratings: 

  • NBC Thursday Season Opener: 5% decrease year-over-year
  • NBC “Sunday Night Football”: 14% decrease
  • ESPN “Monday Night Football” (first game): 18% decrease
  • ESPN “Monday Night Football” (second game): 27% decrease
  • Fox Sunday Afternoon Slot: 7% increase