Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season is done and dusted, and it’s another week of somewhat disappointing viewership for the league.
Starting on Thursday, Chargers-Raiders drew 12.962 million viewers on Fox and NFL Network. That’s up 7% from Jets-Ravens a year ago (12.14 million).
Saturday featured a doubleheader on NFL Network without a proper comparison to 2019. Bills-Broncos drew 4.531 million viewers in the 4:30 PM ET window, while Panthers-Packers drew 5.611 million viewers in the 8 PM ET window.
Bouncing over to Sunday, we’ll start with Fox, who had this week’s singleheader. The majority of the distribution went to Seattle-Washington and Philly-Arizona, and the window drew 15.213 million viewers. That’s down 9% from 2019’s singleheader on CBS, when Houston-Tennessee and Vikings-Chargers drew 16.77 million viewers.
The doubleheader was a CBS joint this week. The early half featured the flexed 49ers-Cowboys matchup going to half the country, drawing 15.433 million viewers. That’s down 3% from last year’s early doubleheader half on Fox (Bears-Packers to over half the country, 15.87 million viewers). The late half of the doubleheader was a potential Super Bowl preview of Chiefs-Saints to the whole country, and that game drew 22.940 million viewers. While an impressive number, it was down by under a percent compared to a year ago (Rams-Cowboys on Fox, 23.02 million viewers).
On Sunday night, the flexed in Browns-Giants game drew 15.610 million viewers on NBC. That’s down 14% from Bills-Steelers last year (18.14 million viewers).
Closing with Monday night, Steelers-Bengals drew 12.721 million viewers on ESPN. That’s up 15% from 2019’s Colts-Saints matchup, which drew 11.06 million viewers.
Looking ahead to Week 16, we’ve got games on four different nights – and one of those isn’t Friday. The Saints host the Vikings on Friday, Christmas Night, with the game airing on Fox and NFL Network. There’s a tripleheader on Saturday, with a pair of NFL Network games (Bucs-Lions and Dolphins-Raiders) sandwiching an Amazon-only game (49ers-Cardinals). On Sunday, Fox has the doubleheader, and the best of its three early games is probably Falcons-Chiefs. In the late window, the network has Eagles-Cowboys and Rams-Seahawks). CBS has the singleheader, featuring Colts-Steelers (among others) early and Carolina-Washington late. On Sunday Night Football, NBC has a tasty Titans-Packers matchup, and ESPN has Bills-Patriots on the Monday Night Football finale.
Of note with comparisons for next week: there was no Christmas Night or TNF game last year, so that game will have no relevant comparison. NFL Network aired a tripleheader last year instead of just two games, and with the third game airing on Prime this year, we won’t get a relevant viewership comp total for that game.