The NFL it became the best sports offer on television in the afternoon and at night on weekends. During the regular season, league games accounted for 91 of the top 100 TV broadcasts and 48 of the top 50. And last weekend had ingredients that made it the best content to pass the time: all four divisional playoff games ended as walkoffs; the Bills Y Chiefs they combined to score 34 points in the final 1:54 of regulation and overtime; and it’s the first time in 12 years that a conference title game won’t feature Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.
the battle between Kansas City Chiefs Y Buffalo Bills for the passage to the Final of the American Conference, demonstrated the high level of spectacle that the NFL in this season and, therefore, the hook to an audience record that had not been registered for six years.
According to reports from Sports Illustrated, the 2021 regular season achieved an average audience of 17.1 million either on television or digitally, which means the highest number since 2015 and an increase of more than 10% compared to what was registered in 2020.
The increase in audiences coincides with the first season in which 17 games were played by each team (there were 18 weeks in total). In addition to the leading role of teams such as Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals Y Green Bay Packers, there were also meetings that generated high expectations among various audiences, such as Tom Brady’s first visit to New England but now dressed in Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The registry indicates that 370,000 million total minutes were consumed during the 18 weeks, which means an increase of 18% compared to 2020.
“This year’s schedule, highlighted by an enhanced 17-game regular season, gave our broadcast partners the ability to bring fans more incredible football and matchups than ever before. We look forward to a strong finish with the upcoming postseason and Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. Angeles,” says Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of the NFL and Director of Operations NFL Media.
The most watched game was the week 12 game between Las Vegas Raiders Y Dallas Cowboys, which recorded an audience of 40.8 million, followed by the Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs from week 11 with 28.7 million, the Cleveland Brown vs. Green Bay Packers from week 16 with 28.6 million, the Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions from week 12 with 28.2 million and in the top 5 is the Buccaneers vs. Patriots from week 4 with 27.2 million.
As seen in this weekend’s Divisional Round, the 2021 regular season spectacle was filled with heart-stopping moments: 34 games were decided on the last play, the most in a single season ever, while 49 games were decided by a winning score in the last minute of regulation or overtime, which is tied for the most in a single season in NFL history.
“With incredible play on the field and close competition, the 2021 regular season proved to be one of the most exciting and exhilarating of all time,” adds Schroeder.
Another parameter of the push of audiences that won the NFL this year is on the growth of local markets. In total, 21 of the 32 teams showed increases in the rate of viewers in their cities, highlighting places such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Carolina Y Arizona.
The city of Los Angeles was favored with the growth of Chargers and the Rams, current conference finalists in the National. The Chargers posted the biggest increase in the league at 25% from last season, while the Rams 14%.
On the contrary, large cities such as New York and Chicago, which have the largest and third largest television markets in the country, saw their figures fall. The Giants had four wins this season and the Bears just six. Both teams saw 14% drops in their local TV ratings this season.
the surprising Buffalo Bills, who fell 13 seconds from advancing to the AFC Final, had the highest local television rating in the league with 47.16 points, beating last season’s local television champion Kansas City Chiefs (45.28). . In total, four teams posted local ratings above 40 points, including the Bills, Chiefs, Green Bay Packers (41.57 rating in the Milwaukee market), and the Saints (40.89 in New Orleans).
The most and least watched teams in the NFL 2021
Below are the five clubs with the highest audience growth compared to the previous season, as well as the five with the largest drops (Fuente: Sports Business Journal).
- Los Angeles Chargers / +25%
- Dallas Cowboys / +23%
- Carolina Panthers / +19%
- Arizona Cardinals / +19%
- New England Patriots / +17%
- Pittsburg Steelers / -10%
- New York Giants / -14%
- Chicago Bears / -14%
- Seattle Seahawks / -14%
- Houston Texans / -18%