In the world of TV ratings, the NFL remains in a league of its own

In the world of TV ratings, the NFL remains in a league of its own

NFL The NFL’s viewership is so far ahead of any other sport, any comparison is pointless. Tom Brady’s return to Gillette Stadium drew 26.7 million viewers, the most-watched broadcast of the year as the NFL continues to lap the competition. JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

Whenever readers ask how a game from another sport — even much-anticipated events such as a Red Sox postseason game or a Celtics or Bruins season opener, for recent examples — fared against a Patriots broadcast in the Nielsen ratings, I try to offer one particular reminder:

NFL games are so far ahead of other sports in viewership that there is really no comparison to be made at all. NFL games should be compared not with sports but with all other television programs across all networks. And even then, guess what? The NFL wins in a blowout.

The latest, but hardly the only, evidence of this came this past week when the NFL updated its viewership data through the season’s first six weeks. Since the season began with the Cowboys-Buccaneers kickoff game on Sept. 9, NFL game broadcasts have accounted for the 33 most-watched programs on television.


Not just NFL games. Not just sporting events. Programs. NFL games are the most-watched content on television.

Through six weeks, national NFL broadcasts are averaging 16.6 million viewers, up 11 percent over the same…

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