After another week of positive COVID-19 tests, schedule shifts, and postponements, the NFL’s viewership once again fell in Week 5.

CBS had the doubleheader and the most positive ratings news of the weekend. The early half, Raiders-Chiefs in most of the country, drew 14.14 million viewers. That’s down 12% from the early half of last year’s Week 5 doubleheader on Fox, where the window highlighted by Vikings-Giants and Bears-Raiders drew 16.05 million viewers. The late window, Giants-Cowboys and Colts-Browns, drew 22.87 million, down 7% from Packers-Cowboys on Fox last year (24.60 million). Notably, that late window on CBS is the NFL’s second-largest audience of the year on any network, behind just Week 1’s late window on Fox, the Bucs-Saints matchup.

Fox laid an egg in its Week 5 singleheader. With five games airing across the country, the Pennsylvania-centric Eagles-Steelers matchup was the most widely distributed, powering the window to 12.49 million viewers. That’s a 23% drop from last year’s singleheader on CBS, which featured Broncos-Chargers and Ravens-Steelers and drew 16.24 million viewers.

Faced with competition from both the ALCS on TBS and the NBA Finals on ABC, NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Vikings and Seahawks drew 15.08 million viewers. That’s down 17% from 2019’s Colts-Chiefs game on NBC, which drew 18.13 million viewers. Notably, while all three games airing on Sunday night were down, they drew a combined 25.44 million viewers. That’s a whole lot of people watching live sports.

We close with Monday Night Football on ESPN. The Saints’ win over the Chargers drew 10.69 million viewers, down 4% from 2019. Last year’s Browns-49ers matchup drew 11.13 million viewers.

Looking ahead (tentatively) to Week 6, we don’t have Thursday Night Football this week, and the originally scheduled Bills-Chiefs game has been shifted to Monday night on Fox and NFL Network, leading into the MNF matchup between the Cardinals and Cowboys. Sunday Night Football will be an all-California affair between the Rams and 49ers. CBS has the singleheader this week, with Broncos-Patriots (theoretically), Browns-Steelers, and Ravens-Eagles probably getting most of the spotlight. Fox’s doubleheader has Bears-Panthers and WFT-Giants in the early half, and Packers-Bucs to the nation in the late half.

[Data via ShowBuzz Daily, Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.