Record 108.4 Million Fans Tune In On Kickoff Weekend




Kickoff Weekend Games 3 of 7 Most-Watched TV Shows

Since Super Bowl XLVII

Packers-49ers on FOX Most-Watched Sunday Week 1 Game Ever

Eagles-Redskins Most-Watched Monday Night Football Opener Ever on ESPN

5-Years Running: NFL Games Top Ratings in All 30 NFL Markets

Kickoff Weekend

NFL Network& NFL Digital Media Post Opening Weekend Records

The NFL got Back To Football with a thrilling Kickoff Weekend on the field, in the stands and at home. Twelve of the 16 games in Week 1 were decided by seven points or fewer, tied for the most of any weekend in NFL history.

And fans got Back To Football too! Beginning with the Thursday night NFL season opener, viewers across the country tuned into NFL games and programming and visited NFL digital media properties in record numbers.

A record total of 108.4 million fans tuned into Kickoff Weekend games (Sept. 5-9) on CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC to rank as the most-viewed opening weekend ever.  This marks the fourth consecutive Kickoff Weekend with a total reach exceeding 105 million viewers.

For the third time in four years (2010, 2011), three Kickoff Weekend game telecasts topped 25 million average viewers — FOX national game telecast (mostly Packers-49ers, 28.5 million), NBC Sunday night game (Giants-Cowboys, 25.4 million), and the NBC Thursday Kickoff game (Ravens-Broncos, 25.1 million). These three telecasts rank among the seven most-watched shows among all television programs since Super Bowl Sunday including awards shows, such as the Academy Awards, and season finales.

In addition, Kickoff Weekend games averaged 19.6 million viewers – the third time in four years that the games average more than 19 million viewers (19.5 million in 2010; 19.0 million in 2011).

Below are additional records and highlights from Kickoff Weekend.


  • With 28.5 million average viewers, the FOX national telecast (mostly Packers-49ers) posted its best Kickoff Sunday ever, surpassing 28.0 million for Packers-Eagles in 2010.
  • ESPN’s  Monday Night Football opener (Eagles-Redskins) was the most-watched Week 1 game ever on ESPN with 16.54 million viewers and posted the highest rating ever for a season opener on ESPN (11.8).
  • On Sunday afternoon, an average of 19.8 million viewers watched NFL games on CBS and FOX, making it the highest Kickoff Sunday audience for the networks, surpassing the previous record average of 19.0 million in 2010.


  • NFL games ranked first in all 30 NFL markets for the fifth consecutive Kickoff Weekend. NFL games also topped the ratings in 50 of Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, with college football games as the highest-rated program in the other six markets.  In addition, the second-highest rated show in 26 of the 30 NFL markets was also NFL programming.
  • Three teams delivered record-setting ratings for season-openers in their home markets led by Washington (38.8 rating) followed by Philadelphia (35.1) and Seattle (34.1).
  • Eight clubs (Atlanta, Buffalo, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Washington) posted local ratings increases of at least 20 percent for Week 1.


  • For the seventh consecutive year, NFL Network posted its best-ever Kickoff Sunday viewership with an average of 310,000 viewers tuning in for shows including the debut of the new GameDay First at 7:00 AM ET, NFL GameDay Morning, NFL GameDay Highlights and NFL GameDay Final.
  • NFL Network’s audience peaked between from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM ET when it averaged 622,000 viewers for NFL GameDay Morning, making it the most watched regular season episode of that program in NFL Network history.
  • NFL Digital Media properties, including the newly redesigned NFL Mobile from Verizon app, saw a 38 percent year-over-year increase in visits and 41 percent rise in total time spent for the 2013 NFL Kickoff Weekend. Overall, the total cumulative audience for NFL Digital Media properties, across desktop, tablet, and phone was 35.9M uniques.
  • The majority of visits to NFL Digital Media properties during the 2013 NFL Kickoff Weekend came from a mobile device and mobile specific properties, including NFL Mobile from Verizon, which had an 77 percent increase in user visits during that period.

Following is the list of all 30 NFL markets where football was the top-rated program for the week of Sept. 2-8:

Week of 9/2 – 9/8  





Market Game





Milwaukee Packers at 49ers 09/08/2013 50.8 75 1
New Orleans Falcons at Saints 09/08/2013 49.0 75 1
Denver Ravens at Broncos 09/05/2013 43.7 70 1
Indianapolis Raiders at Colts 09/08/2013 38.3 63 1
Baltimore Ravens at Broncos 09/05/2013 36.9 61 1
Pittsburgh Titans at Steelers 09/08/2013 36.3 65 1
Dallas Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 36.2 54 1
Minneapolis Vikings at Lions 09/08/2013 35.5 68 1
Buffalo Patriots at Bills 09/08/2013 34.7 64 1
Kansas City Chiefs at Jaguars 09/08/2013 32.4 57 1
Seattle Seahawks at Panthers 09/08/2013 31.4 65 1
Chicago Bengals at Bears 09/08/2013 31.0 60 1
Boston Patriots at Bills 09/08/2013 30.8 63 1
Cincinnati Bengals at Bears 09/08/2013 29.7 52 1
Cleveland Dolphins at Browns 09/08/2013 27.3 53 1
Nashville Titans at Steelers 09/08/2013 25.6 45 1
Atlanta Falcons at Saints 09/08/2013 25.4 48 1
Detroit Vikings at Lions 09/08/2013 25.4 52 1
Phoenix Cardinals at Rams 09/08/2013 24.6 44 1
St. Louis Cardinals at Rams 09/08/2013 24.1 41 1
Charlotte Seahawks at Panthers 09/08/2013 23.0 43 1
San Fran-Oakland Packers at 49ers 09/08/2013 22.0 50 1
Washington, DC Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 20.9 36 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jets 09/08/2013 20.5 39 1
New York Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 19.5 32 1
San Diego Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 19.2 33 1
Houston Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 18.4 30 1
Miami Dolphins at Browns 09/08/2013 18.1 35 1
Philadelphia Giants at Cowboys 09/08/2013 17.9 28 1
Jacksonville Chiefs at Jaguars 09/08/2013 17.9 35 1

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company