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Shift of Thursday Night Football to streaming drops average NFL viewership from 17.1 million to 16.7 million

As the Packers prepare for another offseason of Aaron Rodgers uncertainty, Florio and Simms both think the team can't afford a repeat of last year when the QB's offseason absence set the offense back.

The shift of Thursday Night Football from Fox to Amazon was expected to decrease total viewership of NFL games in 2022. And it did.

Via Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, the NFL averaged 16.7 million viewers for the 2022 regular season. That’s a three-percent dip from 2021, when average viewership was 17.1 million.

Karp notes that, but for the natural drop in viewership when shifting a major package from broadcast TV to streaming, viewership likely would have increased by a percentage in the low single digits.

For Fox, CBS and NBC, the average went up from 2021 to 2022. For ESPN, Amazon, and NFL Network, the number went down.

NBC had the highest average viewership, at 19.9 million. It also had the highest average viewership for all NFL pregame shows at 7.24 million, despite my continued involvement in it.