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The NFL Sees Best Ratings Week Since 2016

The network-wide average of 18.5 million viewers was up 7% from the same Thursday-Monday period last season, according to the NFL.

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The NFL announced that more than 121 million total viewers took in the league’s opening weekend. That marks the NFL’s highest average opening weekend viewership since 2016.

The network-wide average of 18.5 million viewers was up 7% from the same Thursday-Monday period last season, according to the NFL. The 121 million total viewers represented an increase of 5% from last year.

“This was one of the greatest kickoff weekends in memory,” said NFL EVP/Communications, Public Affairs and Policy Jeff Miller, who noted that a record-high seven of the opening weekend’s games were decided by three points or less.

CBS, FOX and NBC grabbed 83 million viewers on Sunday and those viewers watched more than 12 billion minutes of game action. CBS, NBC, FOX and ESPN all had great opening weekend numbers.

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12.6 Million Tune in to Rams-49ers Monday Night Football Matchup

Additionally, the ManningCast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning saw its biggest audience this season.

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday Night Football

ESPN continues to generate massive audiences for its Monday Night Football telecasts.

The network reported that 12.6 million tuned in across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes to watch the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams.

Additionally, the ManningCast featuring Peyton and Eli Manning saw its biggest audience this season. ESPN says 1.63 million caught the alternate feed.

That number ranked Monday’s broadcast tied for fourth among 12 previous editions.

Next week’s Monday night game features the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Sports TV News

NBC: Big Ten Media Rights Is Biggest New Property Deal Since NFL

“I can’t think of a bigger deal in the 16 years I’ve been here than the Big Ten. It’s very rare to see these properties change hands.”

Jordan Bondurant

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NBC Sports can’t be more excited to be a part of the new Big Ten media rights deal going into effect in 2023.

As part of their share of the $1 billion per year agreement, NBC will shell out $350 million each season to the conference for rights to 14-16 football games over the next seven years.

On a recent edition of SportsProMedia’s StreamTime Podcast, Peacock chief commercial officer Rick Cordella said this was the biggest acquisition for NBC since the network became the home to Sunday Night Football in the NFL in 2006.

“I joined NBC just after the NFL deal and [since then] we’ve re-engaged with NASCAR in 2013 and have signed some pretty important renewals along the way,” he said. “But in terms of a new property, I can’t think of a bigger deal in the 16 years I’ve been here than the Big Ten. It’s very rare to see these properties change hands.”

Cordella added that while NBC’s relationship with Notre Dame is historic and something to hang their hat on, it’s the longevity of the future of the Big Ten as a conference and pseudo-mega conference that makes being in on the new deal so monumental.

“We have a long relationship with Notre Dame that’s pretty unique and something we’re proud of, but to have Big Ten football every week in the fall…that conference is going to be a dominant force in college athletics, and we don’t have to worry about teams being poached and leaving (the conference),” he said.

The fact that Peacock will also be streaming football and men’s and women’s basketball games is another perk.

“It was the right spot to focus our investment and we’re excited to have content across both NBC and Peacock,” Cordella said. “That was an important factor.”

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SEC on CBS Draws College Football’s Most-Watched Game for Third Straight Week

Alabama-Arkansas drew an average of 5.828 million viewers, making it the most-watched Alabama-Arkansas game in 12 years.

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Alabama-Arkansas
AP Photo/Michael Woods

CBS is reaping the benefits of its package with the SEC. That’s because for the third consecutive week, CBS is home of college football’s highest-rated game of the week.

Alabama-Arkansas drew an average of 5.828 million viewers, making it the most-watched Alabama-Arkansas game in 12 years. That game also peaked at nearly 7 million viewers at one point.

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