The 272 regular-season games averaged 17.1 million viewers across TV and digital. A 10% increase over 2020 and is the league’s highest average since 2015.
After the NFL took a pro-woke culture stance in 2020 and turned off longtime and older viewers, the league softened its approach in 2021 and it paid off.
Monday Night Football saw the biggest increase as its 19-game package was up 16% over last year, averaging 14.18 million. It is the network’s best regular-season viewership since 2010 and third best since 2006, when the package moved mainly to cable from ABC.
NFL TV ratings 2021 ranked as the top 16 most-watched TV shows and 91 of the top 100 telecasts on television during the season, according to Nielsen.
NFL games also accounted for 48 of the top 50 TV shows during the 2021 regular season, NFL Media reported, with 370 billion total minutes consumed during the 2021 regular season, the second highest ever and up 18% over 2020. 9 of the top 10 most watched TV shows in 2021 were NFL games. INSANE.
The Cowboys v Raiders game on Thanksgiving averaged 40.8 million viewers and was the most-watched game in 31 years.
During the 2021 NFL regular season, there were 34 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play – the most in a single season all-time – while 49 games were decided by a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or overtime – tied for the most in a single season all-time, the NFL reported.
Here are the top 10 NFL TV Ratings 2021/most-watched NFL games during the 2021 season:
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 12, CBS) – 40.8 million
Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 11, FOX) – 28.7 million
Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 16, FOX+NFLN) – 28.6 million
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions (Week 12, FOX) – 28.2 million
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New England Patriots (Week 4, NBC) – 27.2 million
Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 17, FOX) – 26.8 million
Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 12, FOX) – 25.2 million
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kickoff, NBC) – 25.2 million
Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9, FOX) – 25.0 million
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Week 2, CBS) – 25.0 million