NFL television ratings rose by 5 percent in 2018 as compared with the 2017 season, according to figures released Wednesday by the league.
The uptick partially stemmed two years of ratings slides for the NFL, part of a decrease throughout the television industry. The average game in 2018 drew 15.8 million viewers as compared with 14.9 million in 2017. That number was 16.5 million for the 2016 season and 17.9 million in 2015.
Of the top 50 telecasts since the start of the 2018 season, 46 were NFL games.
Meanwhile, average streaming viewership rose 86 percent. A total of 13 Thursday night games were streamed on Amazon Prime.
Analysts have offered a series of explanations for this season’s ratings rebound, including the success of teams in some of the NFL’s largest markets: Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles (both the Rams and Chargers).
Offenses also spent most of the season on a record-breaking scoring pace, creating a more appealing product for fans. NFL teams scored 1,371 total touchdowns, the most for a season in league history. They also scored the second-highest total of points for a season (11,952).
The NFL does not release ratings for the Red Zone channel and those were not included in Wednesday’s news.