Viewership for the NFL’s Week 7 schedule was in, and while primetime was a bust for the league, the Sunday daytime windows did quite well.
Fox had the singleheader, with a third of the country getting the rescheduled Bucs-Raiders game in the late slot and another third of the country getting Packers-Texans in the early slot. That window drew 15.881 million viewers for Fox, up 20% from last year’s singleheader (Raiders-Packers, Chargers-Titans) on CBS (13.24 million).
CBS had the Week 7 doubleheader, and the early half (Steelers-Titans to a vast majority of the country) drew 14.528 million viewers. That’s up 22% from last year’s early doubleheader half on Fox, which brought in 11.88 million for Vikings-Lions and Cardinals-Giants. The late half of the CBS Week 7 doubleheader (49ers-Patriots, Chiefs-Broncos) brought in 22.896 million viewers, down 1% from the late half of Fox’s doubleheader a year ago (Saints-Bears, 23.04 million viewers). Given the presence of that Bucs-Raiders game on such short notice going head to head with that window, CBS has to be pretty satisfied with that number.
However, Sunday Night Football did not cover itself in glory for NBC, despite how great the game was. Seahawks-Cardinals drew just 14.306 million viewers, down 33% from Eagles-Cowboys last year. This isn’t a huge surprise, especially considering the late notice of the switch away from Bucs-Raiders.
We close with Monday Night Football. ESPN’s broadcast of Bears-Rams drew 10.501 million viewers, down 3% from Patriots-Jets last year (10.84 million viewers).
Week 8 is going to be interesting, as it’s the final Sunday of election season (which has been a ratings drain on the league this year, and in 2016). On Thursday, Fox has what seems like a TNF dog in Falcons-Panthers, which will be comped to Redskins-Vikings from 2019. Sunday Night Football will feature a normally compelling Cowboys-Eagles matchup that is far less interesting this year. That game will be comped to Packers-Chiefs. Monday Night Football has a good chance at an increase in Week 8 with Bucs-Giants, comped to a 2019 Dolphins-Steelers game that fell just short of ten million viewers.
As for the Sunday afternoon windows, Fox has the doubleheadeer. Their early window features Raiders-Browns and Vikings-Packers, and the late window features Saints-Bears and 49ers-Seahawks. CBS has the singleheader, and they’ve got Patriots-Bills and Steelers-Ravens airing early.