Skip to main content

Screen Wars Thought Leader Interviews are also available on

SpotifyApple PodcastGoogle Podcast
State of the Screens

NFL Wraps ’18 Season Up 5%, With All TV Partners Seeing Gains

By February 3, 2019No Comments

NFL average TV ratings for the regular season (YoY change):
2017–15.0M (↓ 9%)
3) 2018–15.8M (↑ 5%)

53.9M: Both the AFC and NFC championship games posted monster viewership numbers so it will be interesting to see if that carries forward into the Super Bowl.

The big question: Boston was one of the strongest markets for the NFL all season, while Los Angeles was one of the worst. How does this impact the overall rating for the Super Bowl?

Total viewership for past 10 Super Bowls (YoY change):
2018 — PHI-NE (NBC) — 106.0M (↓ 6%)
2) 2017 — NE-ATL (FOX) — 113.3M (↑ 1%)
3) 2016 — DEN-CAR (CBS) — 111.9M (↓ 2%)
4) 2015 — NE-SEA (NBC) — 114.4M (↑ 2%)
5) 2014 — SEA-DEN (FOX) — 112.2M (↑ 3%)
6) 2013 — BAL-SF (CBS) — 108.7M (↓ 2%)
7) 2012 — NYG-NE (NBC) — 111.4M (↑ 0%)
8) 2011 — GB-PIT (FOX) — 111.0M (↑ 4%)
9) 2010 — NO-IND (CBS) — 106.5M (↑ 8%)
10) 2009 — PIT-ARIZ (NBC) — 98.7M (↑ 1%)

Our prediction: Look for total viewership to rebound at a similar level as the regular season (≈ 5%) leading to 111M viewers.

Fun read: How Did We Get Here? An Illustrated Guide to the N.F.L. Playoffs

More #1: The Year the N.F.L. Bounced Back

More #2: Super Bowl Is TV’s Last Big Show

More #3: Which teams does CBS want in the Super Bowl? It matters less than you might think.

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.