NFL Breaks Records for Audience Figures in the Opening Weekend of the Season

September 15, 2011

anesthetist helvetica, ask sans-serif;”>The National Football League (NFL) have seen unprecedented amount of viewers for their opening weekend of the NFL season.

anabolics helvetica, sans-serif;”>Beginning with the Thursday night NFL season opener, viewers across the country got back to football and tuned into NFL games and visited NFL digital media properties in record numbers.

A record 107.4 million fans tuned into Kickoff Weekend games (Sept. 8-12) on CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC to rank as the most-viewed opening weekend ever.

Three Kickoff Weekend games topped 25 million average viewers — NBC Thursday night opener (Saints-Packers, 27.2 million), FOX national game telecast (mostly Giants-Redskins, 25.8 million) and the NBC Sunday night game (Cowboys-Jets, 25.8 million) – to rank as the three most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV. These three telecasts rank among the seven most-watched shows among all television programs since Super Bowl Sunday including awards shows, such as the Academy Awards, and season finales.

In addition, Kickoff Weekend games averaged 19.0 million viewers – which coupled with last year’s average of 19.5 million marks the first time in a quarter century that NFL opening-weekend games averaged at least 19 million viewers in consecutive seasons (1986-1987).

NBC’s Sunday Night Football opener was the most-watched SNF game ever (Cowboys-Jets, 25.8 million viewers). NBC’s two games averaged 26.5 million viewers, marking the highest Thursday-Sunday primetime average for NBC since the current Kickoff Weekend schedule was implemented in 2002.  With Cowboys-Jets marking the first meeting in five years between starting quarterbacks of Hispanic heritage, NBC drew an SNF record 2.74 million Hispanic viewers.

NFL digital media properties also did well, with NFL Mobile only from Verizon, having its best opening weekend ever with 46 percent more people visiting than last year.