NFL Television Ratings up Big in 2009, Expected to be Even Higher for 2010

The NFL is the hottest sport in America.  Even though many have speculated the sport had taken over as the national pastime years ago, there were still those who had their doubts.  The latest reports show that NFL viewership increased by 9% for the 2009 season and is expected to rise even further in the upcoming one.  The continued growth of NFL viewers should put to rest any notions that football is not the top dog when it comes to American sports.

Still over a month away from the first pass being thrown in a regular season game, the NFL and television experts are already indicating that they expect an additional 15% increase in games watched during the 2010 season.  Football is big business.  The popularity of the league means commercials during any game command a premium price.  The league and television owners could not be happier.

The NFL Draft has long been a staple of many NFL fans, but the 2010 draft held in April brought in an unheard of number of viewers.  It is estimated that 23.3 million people watched the first round of this year’s draft.  ESPN and the NFL changed the format of the draft by moving the first round to a primetime spot on Thursday night.  The Draft is believed to be responsible for the less than average numbers experienced that night for NBC’s popular sitcoms ‘30 Rock’ and ‘The Office’. 

If the 2010 season shakes out as the prognosticators expect you can expect more innovative scheduling from the league in the future.  The draft showed that no matter what time you put an NFL event on, people will watch.  The opportunity for the league and its television partners to grab even higher ratings by having more primetime football may be too hard to resist.

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