More than 121 million watched NFL games on opening weekend

Sep 14, 2022, 2:58 AM | Updated: 3:00 pm
A view of the New York skyline with a tribute to Sept. 11, is shown on the large video screen durin...

A view of the New York skyline with a tribute to Sept. 11, is shown on the large video screen during the playing of the national anthem before the first half of a NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 121 million fans watched a telecast of an NFL game during the league’s opening week, a 5% increase over last season.

The league and Nielsen also said on Wednesday that the average viewership for all games was 18.5 million, the best opening weekend in six years and up 3% from last year.

A record seven Week 1 games were decided by three points or fewer and five came down to a game-winning score either in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime.

NBC had the two most-watched games. Tampa Bay’s 19-3 win over Dallas Sunday night averaged 24.5 million and last Thursday’s opening game, in which Buffalo routed the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10, attracted 21.3 million.

Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle and the Seahawks’ 17-16 narrow victory over Denver averaged 19.8 million across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. That is the most-watched Monday night game since New Orleans faced New England in 2009 (21.4 million). It’s also the fourth-biggest audience since ESPN took over “Monday Night Football” in 2006.

Minnesota’s 23-7 win over Green Bay averaged 18.5 million on Fox, and was the most-viewed during the late Sunday afternoon window. Fox’s doubleheader numbers were up 11% over last season, with an average of 15.4 million for its six games.

CBS had the most-watched early game, with Pittsburgh’s 23-20 overtime victory at Cincinnati averaging 17.5 million. CBS had seven games on Sunday and its doubleheader averaged 17.0 million, the network’s third-most watched Week 1 since 1998.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Turkey OKs sending troops to Qatar for World Cup security

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday approved deploying Turkish soldiers to Qatar to help maintain security during next month’s World Cup. With a show of hands, lawmakers approved a motion to send an unspecified number of troops to the Gulf country for six months. Fikri Isik, a ruling party legislator and former Turkish […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Marathon at 2024 Paris Olympics announced; lots of uphill

PARIS (AP) — The marathon course at the 2024 Paris Olympics will include a strength-draining 438 meters of uphill racing, a punishing test of endurance that organizers proudly described Wednesday as “a challenge without precedent.” And for the first time at the Olympics, female marathoners will get the privilege of competing last, on the final […]
1 day ago
FILE - San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, second from left, is mobbed by teammates aft...
Associated Press

No-No Joe Musgrove wants a championship for hometown Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joe Musgrove took a moment away from the mayhem of the clubhouse celebration after the San Diego Padres clinched a playoff spot to reflect on where his career has been and where he wants it to go. The big right-hander will forever be remembered as the hometown kid who threw the […]
1 day ago
Portuguese Soccer Federation President Fernando Gomes, left, President of the Spanish Royal Federat...
Associated Press

Ukraine links World Cup host bid to beating horrors of war

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Hosting World Cup matches in 2030 would be “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war,” Ukrainian soccer federation president Andriy Pavelko said Wednesday after his country launched a joint bid with Spain and Portugal. The leaders of the three soccer federations joined together at UEFA headquarters to present […]
1 day ago
Men weep as they offer prayer outside Kanjuruhan Stadium where a soccer stampede killed more than 1...
Associated Press

Indonesian leader says locked gates contributed to deaths

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that locked gates had contributed to the crush at the soccer stadium that left 131 dead and over 400 injured when police fired tear gas and set off a panicked run for the exits. Widodo made the statement after touring the Kanjuruhan soccer stadium […]
1 day ago
Fans reach for a foul ball by New York Yankees' Aaron Judge during the second inning in the second ...
Associated Press

Fan who caught Judge’s 62nd HR unsure what he’ll do with it

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — As he walked through a concourse in the outfield at Globe Life Field, high-fiving with fans and surrounded by a sea of cameras, it was almost as if Cory Youmans had hit a huge home run. Instead, he hit the jackpot. Youmans made the catch of a lifetime Tuesday night, snagging […]
1 day ago
More than 121 million watched NFL games on opening weekend