Everything Marketers Need to Know About the NFL’s Return

Thursday’s season opener between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs saw a 12.3% drop in viewership compared to last year’s kickoff game.

Against the odds (or maybe in spite of them?) the NFL season kickoff aired on NBC this past Thursday evening. 

You might be picturing TV advertisers popping bottles from home in celebration of the multibillion-dollar game’s official return, but in reality, it’s not that simple:

  • Thursday’s season opener between the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs saw a 12.3% drop in viewership compared to last year’s kickoff game, per Deadline
  • The buildup of sports seasons delayed at the start of the pandemic might partially explain the lower-than-usual viewership. The NBA and NHL playoffs, typically springtime events, were happening the same evening.

Still, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Dan Lovenger, EVP Sales and Partnerships for NBC Sports, recently told Deadline that the network is “ahead of where we were last year in terms of upfront and scatter for the NFL”—meaning that advertisers are still hungry for NFL ad inventory. 

Bottom line: Just because the first game of the season wasn’t exactly a touchdown definitely doesn’t mean the NFL is over for advertisers.


Via Morning Brew

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