In March 2021, we wrote about the NFL’s enormous future media rights deals. Despite the declining audience in 2020, the NFL secured a massive rise in fees. Now, we know why. The NFL nails TV ratings for 2021-2022.


Back on Track: The NFL Nails TV Ratings for 2021-2022

This post covers the regular 2021 season. As well as the first three rounds of the 2022 playoffs. Next up, the Super Bowl.

Regular 2021 Season

For the full 2021 season, the NFL had terrific TV ratings.

As Todd Karpovich reports for Sports Illustrated:

The 2021 NFL regular season averaged 17.1 million viewers (TV and Digital) – the highest regular-season average since 2015 and up more than 10% from 2020.

During the regular season, NFL games ranked as the top 16, 48 of the top 50, and 91 of the top 100 telecasts on TV. With the Dallas Cowboys accounting for five of the top 10 ratings.

Throughout the season, there were 370 billion total minutes consumed. Up +18% vs. 2020. And the second-highest total on record behind only 2015.For the first time, each NFL team played 17 regular season games, providing fans with an extra week of regular season NFL action.

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The NFL Nails TV Ratings for 2021-2022


First Three Rounds of 2022 Playoffs

  • Wild Card Weekend CNN notes that: “The numbers were eye-opening during the opening week of playoff football as the NFL went with its first three-day weekend of Wild Card action. The six games averaged 30.5 million viewers,. An increase of 21% from the 2020-21 NFL Wild Card Weekend and the most-watched first weekend of postseason football since 2015-16.
  • Divisional Playoffs — Also from CNN:As if a memorable weekend of playoff football couldn’t get any better for the NFL, it did following the release of TV ratings. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the NFL’s four divisional round matchups averaged 37.1 million viewers.”
  • AFC/NFC Championships Hollywood Reporter research full ratings show 49 million million viewers. Up 13 percent over the prior year.


Tomorrow, we present our first Super Bowl 2022 post. 🙂


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