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NFL ratings show green shoots of recovery

The NFL has reported a rise in domestic television ratings for the 2018 regular season so far, following two years of decline.

Through the first 12 weeks of play, the NFL said games are averaging 15.8 million viewers on television, up five per cent versus last year’s equivalent figure of 15 million. NFL games have accounted for 19 of the top 20 and 46 of the top 50 most-watched shows on television in the US.

For the full season, the NFL averaged 14.9 million viewers in 2017 compared to 16.5 million in 2016 and 17.9 million in 2015.

The increased figures have been attributed in part to an exciting season to date, in which offenses has come to the fore.

The total 8,502 points scored is the most through Week 12 in NFL history, while 980 touchdowns and 625 touchdown passes have also set new records. Fifty-one games have been decided by three points or fewer, tied for the most in NFL history through Week 12.

This season is also the first with at least one overtime game in each of the first seven weeks of the campaign since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974. Ten overtime games have been played through Week 12.