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NFL says 2023 was most-watched Thanksgiving ever, average viewership of 34.1 million

The NFL says 2023 was its most-watched slate of Thanksgiving games ever.

Packers-Lions, Commanders-Cowboys and 49ers-Seahawks combined to average 34.1 million viewers, the most the league has ever recorded for its Thanksgiving games.

It’s worth noting that out of home viewing has only been counted toward viewership totals since 2020, and a significant portion of people watching football on Thanksgiving are watching it at someone else’s house. So it might be more accurate to say 2023 was the NFL’s most-watched Thanksgiving of the last four seasons, and prior to that there simply isn’t reliable apples-to-apples data.

Regardless, the NFL is very pleased with the viewership totals, which included 41.8 million for the game in Dallas, 33.7 million for the game in Detroit and 26.9 million for the game in Seattle.

NFL games are in a different world than any other programming on American television. Among the most-watched non-football events of this year, none can even come close to what a big NFL game draws. This year’s World Series reached an average of 9.1 million viewers. This year’s NBA Finals reached an average of 11.6 million viewers. This year’s Academy Awards averaged 18.8 million viewers. This year’s Grammys averaged 12.5 million viewers. America’s biggest annual events can’t come close to the audience that NFL games bring in.