The 2022 NFL regular season is in the books, and the season ended on mostly a high note.
ESPN had a Saturday doubleheader, which was simulcast on ABC. In the early window, Chiefs-Raiders averaged 17.759 million viewers, down from last year’s similar game (Chiefs-Broncos, 19.10 million). In the late window, Titans-Jaguars averaged 19.004 million viewers, also down from last year’s similar window (Cowboys-Eagles, 20.21 million).
CBS and Fox each had doubleheaders in Week 18. In the early window, CBS averaged 22.728 million viewers, with a lion’s share of the country getting Patriots-Bills. That’s up from last year (Steelers-Ravens to most of the country, 16.86 million), and is the most-watched final week window on CBS in 11 years. Fox wasn’t as fortunate early. Their four-game window, headlined by Jets-Dolphins and Vikings-Bears, averaged just 9.422 million viewers, down from last year (Packers-Lions, etc, 13.78 million). Combined, the early window averaged 32.15 million viewers over both networks, up from last year (30.64 million).
In the late window, CBS averaged 13.699 million viewers for their two games (Giants-Eagles, Chargers-Broncos), down from last year (Panthers-Bucs, etc, 14.17 million). Fox averaged 20.505 million viewers for their three games (Cowboys-Commanders, Rams-Seahawks, Cardinals-49ers), up from last year (49ers-Rams, etc, 19.31 million). Combined, the networks averaged 34.204 million viewers for the second half of the doubleheader, up from last year (33.48 million).
Across both windows Sunday, CBS averaged 18.214 million viewers and Fox averaged 14.964 million. CBS was up over both windows compared to last year (15.515 million), while Fox was down (16.545 million).
Finally, NBC averaged 22.251 million viewers for Lions-Packers on Sunday night, up from last week’s matchup (Steelers-Ravens, 17.18 million) and last year’s game (Chargers-Raiders, 17.69 million). That’s good for the most-watched Sunday night game of the year, and NBC’s third most-watched (behind just the Thanksgiving night game between the Vikings and Patriots and the season opener between the Bucs and Cowboys).
Next up? Playoffs! We’ve got six games coming this weekend – two on Saturday, three on Sunday, and one on Monday.
[Data via ShowBuzz Daily, Sports Media Watch]