The National Football League started its 2021 season with a thrilling contest that contains two prime quarterbacks and a stadium of fans, which helped it lure the most viewers since 2015.
NBC said its 2021 NFL opener Thursday between the defending Large Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys averaged 26 million total viewers on all platforms and peaked on NBC TV at 25.4 million viewers between 9: 45 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET.
The game marked a 20% amplify in total viewership from closing twelve months’s NFL kickoff that contains the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans. That contest averaged 19.3 million viewers and was the first NFL game for the length of the pandemic.
The 2020 NFL opener faced competitors from the National Basketball Association, Predominant League Baseball, Predominant League Soccer and tennis’ U.S. Open. Those leagues performed at the identical time because of the pandemic postponements, which impacted NFL viewership. By comparison, the 2019 opener that contains the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears averaged roughly 22 million viewers.
The Bucs beat the Cowboys, 31-29, in the help of Tom Brady’s unhurried fourth-quarter pressure, main to the game-winning field aim. Brady, 44, done the game winding up 32 of 50 passes and 4 touchdowns. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott also place on a indicate, throwing for 403 yards and three touchdowns.
NBC, which shares a parent company with CNBC, said the 2021 contest averaged 24.4 million viewers on TV and was the most-watched kickoff game since the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Original England Patriots opener in 2015. That game also featured Brady and attracted 27.4 million viewers.
Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass for the length of the regular season game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 09, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Pictures
High markets for the 2021 NFL opener included Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Tampa Bay, Florida, and Windfall, Rhode Island.
In step with promoting files firm EDO, the community brought in an estimated advert expend of more than $60 million for the 2021 NFL opener, up 16% from closing twelve months. EDO measures ads by search engine visibility, which quantifies advert engagement five to 10 minutes after an advert airs.
The firm told CNBC that crypto and financial services and products corporations shared 8.8% of total search engagement for ads that seemed for the length of the Bucs vs. Cowboys matchup, while corporations in the gambling category shared handiest 1.7%. The average advert in closing night’s game generated 21% more engagement than closing twelve months’s contest.
“Final night’s opening game was monumental news for NFL advertisers, NFL broadcast partners, and the league,” said EDO CEO Kevin Krim by e mail. “We saw fetch twelve months-over-twelve months efficiency with prime search scores vastly increased than closing twelve months’s opener.”
Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are divisions of NBCUniversal.
Correction: This article has been up so a long way to tell that viewership on NBC TV peaked at 25.4 million and that, in accordance with EDO, crypto and financial services and products corporations shared 8.8% of total search engagement for ads for the length of the game and gambling corporations shared 1.7%.