The NFL’s slate of Week 1 games is in the books, and results were especially positive for two of the networks.
CBS and Fox cannibalized their audiences, as both networks aired doubleheaders. CBS drew 17.387 million viewers for the early half and 16.617 million for the late half. The early half was up 21% from last year, and was the most watched Week 1 regional window for CBS since 1998. The late half was down 18% from last year, but the overall average of 17.042 million for the two windows was the best for CBS in four seasons.
The @NFLONCBS delivers record viewership across all platforms in Week 1.
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) September 13, 2022
Fox’s early window drew 12.147 million viewers, and the late window drew 18.546 million viewers. Both are up from last year – the early window by 7%, and the late window by 12%. Together, the two windows averaged 15.355 million viewers, up 11% from last year.
.@NFLonFOX delivers the best viewership growth of any network in Week 1.
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) September 13, 2022
We reported on NBC’s viewership yesterday, which included a decrease for the Thursday Kickoff game and an increase for SNF.
Finally, there’s ESPN, which aired Monday Night Football on three networks – ABC, ESPN, and the ManningCast on ESPN2. Between the three networks, the Seahawks’ win over the Broncos averaged 19.793 million viewers (10.295 million on ABC, 7.996 million on ESPN, and 1.502 million on ESPN2). Add in ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes, and the number increases to 19.845 million.
A massive Week 1 for Monday Night Football ??
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 13, 2022
That’s good for the most-watched MNF game since 2009 (which excludes a Saturday game from this past January).
Last year’s MNF opener, a Raiders’ OT win over the Ravens, drew 16.97 million between the same three networks. That’s an increase of 16% for this year’s game. In a weird quirk, viewership for the ESPN2 ManningCast grew more than the viewership for the ESPN main broadcast (with ABC outpacing both combined).
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily]