Ratings for the NFL, like all sports have been down since sports resumed amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean America has lost it’s love of the league or of football in general. In fact, according to Front Office Sports, since the league’s 2020 season began two weeks ago, the NFL is responsible for the ten most watched broadcasts on television.
FOX’s Week 1 broadcast of Tom Brady’s debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tops the list. Their loss to the New Orleans Saints drew 26.3 million viewers. The league’s opening night broadcast of the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans drew over 20 million viewers.
Four of the top ten broadcasts were shown in primetime windows. That includes one Monday Night Football game on ESPN. That is significant since broadcast television audiences usually dwarf cable audiences.
The numbers keep getting better too! ESPN’s MegaCast of the Monday Night Football game between the Saints and the Las Vegas Raiders drew more than 15 million viewers according to the Hollywood Reporter. Viewership was nearly evenly split across ESPN, where fans could see a traditional broadcast, and ABC, which featured a more casual approach with Race Davis and Kirk Herbstreit welcoming in guests to talk about Las Vegas and the 50th anniversary of Monday Night Football.