Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

With an average audience of 17.1 million, NFL has highest regular-season ratings since 2015

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dive into some of the most controversial officiating calls, and lack thereof, from around the NFL during the final week of the regular season.

The NFL continues to bring a live audience together like nothing else can.

The league has announced that the 2021 NFL regular season generated an average audience of 17.1 million. That’s a 10-percent bump over 2020 and the highest full-season average since 2015.

During the 2021 regular season, NFL games ranked as 48 of the top 50 shows on TV.

For the first time ever, the NFL regular season consisted of 272 games, spread over 18 weekends. Of those games, 175 were within one score in the fourth quarter.

Ten games generated audiences of 25 million or more, with the largest audience coming on Thanksgiving, when 40.8 million watched the Raiders beat the Cowboys. It was the largest audience for any regular-season game since 1990.

Speaking of the Cowboys, five of the 10 most-watched games in the 2021 regular season featured the Dallas franchise. That bodes well for Sunday afternoon, when the Cowboys host the 49ers in a wild-card game.