Record 107.4 million fans tune in on Kickoff Weekend

  • By National Football League
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Kickoff Weekend games 3 most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV

Cowboys-Jets on NBC most-watched Sunday Night Football game ever

NFL Games top ratings in all 30 NFL markets & Digital Media Properties post opening weekend records

Beginning with the Thursday night NFL season opener, viewers across the country got back to football and tuned into NFL games and visited NFL digital media properties in record numbers.

A record 107.4 million fans tuned into Kickoff Weekend games (Sept. 8-12) on CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC to rank as the most-viewed opening weekend ever.

Three Kickoff Weekend games topped 25 million average viewers -- the NBC Thursday night opener (Saints-Packers, 27.2 million), FOX's national game telecast (mostly Giants-Redskins, 25.8 million) and the NBC Sunday night game (Cowboys-Jets, 25.8 million) -- to rank as the three most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV. These three telecasts rank among the seven most-watched shows among all television programs since Super Bowl Sunday including awards shows, such as the Academy Awards, and season finales.

In addition, Kickoff Weekend games averaged 19.0 million viewers -- which coupled with last year's average of 19.5 million marks the first time in a quarter century that NFL opening-weekend games averaged at least 19 million viewers in consecutive seasons (1986-1987).

Below are some additional records and highlights from Kickoff Weekend.


» NBC's Sunday Night Football opener is the most-watched SNF game ever (Cowboys-Jets, 25.8 million viewers). NBC's two games averaged 26.5 million viewers, marking the highest Thursday-Sunday primetime average for NBC since the current Kickoff Weekend schedule was implemented in 2002. With Cowboys-Jets marking the first meeting in five years between starting quarterbacks of Hispanic heritage, NBC drew an SNF record 2.74 million Hispanic viewers.


» NFL games ranked first in all 30 NFL markets for the third consecutive Kickoff Weekend. NFL games also topped the ratings in 53 of Nielsen's 56 metered markets -- up from 48 of 56 metered markets in 2010.

» Three teams delivered record-setting ratings for season-openers in their home markets led by Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay (53.1 rating) followed by New England (33.9) and the New York Jets (19.7).

» Five clubs (Denver, Green Bay, Miami, N.Y. Jets, and Oakland) posted local ratings increases of more than 20 percent for Week 1.


» NFL digital media properties, including NFL Mobile only from Verizon, had its best opening weekend ever with 46 percent more people visiting than last year.

» On Sunday, fans watched 75 percent more video compared to Kickoff Sunday in 2010.

» Fans spent 48 percent more time on NFL digital media properties than last year.

» Visits to the expanded array of NFL mobile offerings were up nearly 500 percent from 2010.



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