HomeNewsAmerican FootballUSA

NFL enjoys five-per-cent ratings increase in 2018

NFL’s television ratings rebound was confirmed with news that its broadcasts rose five per cent in viewership from 2017 to 2018.

The average game in 2018 drew 15.8 million viewers, compared with 14.9 million the year before.

Experts have attributed the rise to: the success of big-market teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Bears and both Los Angeles teams (the Rams and the Chargers); increased scoring during games; the arrival of new stars such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield; and fewer national anthem protests.

Notably, average digital viewership rose 86 per cent, thanks in part to 13 Thursday night games being streamed on Amazon Prime.

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.