The NFL will broadcast 11 games nationally this preseason spread across four different networks: NBC (2), CBS (2), FOX (3) and ESPN (4).
Through seven games this season, ratings are up in the double-digits, with an average audience of 6.83 million viewers (with a 4.3 HH rating) and a 2.5 A18-49 rating. That compares favorably (by 16, 13 and 14 percent, respectively) to the same stretch of games last season, which averaged 5.89 million viewers (with a 3.8 HH rating) and a 2.2 A18-49 rating.
The network breakdown is as follows:
- NBC – 6.8/12 HH rating/share (+19%), 11.13M viewers (+22%) and a 3.9/11 A18-49 rating/share (+22%)
- FOX (through two games) – 3.6/7 HH rating/share (-16%), 5.56M viewers (-15%) and a 2.0/7 A18-49 rating/share (-15%)
- ESPN (through three games) – 3.2/6 HH rating/share (n/c), 4.80M viewers (+1%) and a 1.9/6 A18-49 rating/share (n/c)
As you can see, the ratings are being propped up somewhat by strong numbers on NBC as well as both NBC games having already aired this season (last season the final NBC preseason game didn’t air until August 30, vs. the August 22 airing this preseason).
I’ll post a final update after the preseason ends, which will include all 11 games including the two upcoming CBS telecasts.