NFL enjoys slight ratings boost this season
For two straight years, NFL TV ratings were on a steady decline. League executives have been scrambling to stop the viewership hemorrhage and their efforts may have paid off. According to recent stats, viewership over the first 12 weeks of the current season has increased by 5%.
NFL games are now averaging 15.8 million viewers each. Last year, the entire season only averaged 14.9 million and the year before, 16.5 million. In 2015, 17.9 million sets of eyes were glued to TVs during football competitions.
The stats don't include those games that are streamed online. The NFL has an agreement with Amazon Prime to offer streamed content and 13 Thursday night games are being offered.
This year has seen some incredible action on the gridiron, which could be one of the leading causes of the increase. Several records have been set - Saints quarterback Drew Brees has already broken records previously held by Peyton Manning and Brett Favre and the Kansas City set the record for the first team to lose a game after scoring more than 50 points. In total, the league has seen 8,502 points on the board with 980 touchdowns. Both are the highest seen in the first 12 weeks of action for the entire history of the NFL.
The return of the fans to the game, in addition to the hot season, could definitely be attributed to the waning controversy that began when more than a few players, led by Colin Kaepernick, decided to use football as a platform to protest. The game is, somewhat, returning to normal, allowing fans to concentrate on the on-field activity and not the sideline distractions.