The Buccaneers vs. Cowboys sport was the most-viewed NFL opener since 2015

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes towards the Dallas Cowboys throughout the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on September 09, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Mike Ehrmann | Getty Pictures

The Nationwide Soccer League began its 2021 season with an thrilling contest that includes two high quarterbacks, and a stadium of followers, which helped it lure essentially the most viewers since 2015.

NBC stated its 2021 NFL opener between the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys averaged 26 million complete viewers on Thursday and peaked at 25.Four million viewers between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. Japanese.

The sport marked a 20% enhance in viewership from final yr’s NFL kickoff that includes the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Houston Texans. That contest averaged 19.three million viewers and was the primary NFL sport throughout the pandemic.

The 2020 NFL opener confronted competitors from the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation League, Main League Baseball, Main League Soccer and tennis’ U.S. Open. These leagues performed on the identical time as a result of pandemic postponements, which impacted NFL viewership. By comparability, the 2019 opener that includes the Inexperienced Bay Packers and Chicago Bears averaged roughly 22 million viewers.

The Bucs beat the Cowboys, 31-29, behind Tom Brady’s late fourth-quarter drive, resulting in the game-winning area aim. Brady, 44, completed the sport finishing 32-of-50 passes and 4 touchdowns. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott additionally placed on a present, throwing for 403 yards and three touchdowns.

NBC, the mum or dad firm of CNBC, stated the 2021 contest averaged 24.Four million viewers on TV and was the most-watched kickoff sport because the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots opener in 2015. That sport additionally featured Brady and attracted 27.Four million viewers.

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a move throughout the common season sport between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 09, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Pictures

High markets for the 2021 NFL opener included Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Tampa Bay, Florida; and Windfall, Rhode Island.

In line with promoting knowledge agency EDO, the community introduced in an estimated advert spend of greater than $60 million for the 2021 NFL opener, up 16% from final yr. EDO measures advertisements through search engine visibility, which quantifies advert engagement 5 to 10 minutes after an advert airs.

The agency informed CNBC crypto and monetary providers corporations shared 18% of complete search engagement for advertisements that appeared throughout the Bucs vs. Cowboys matchup, whereas corporations within the playing class shared solely 2%. The typical advert in final evening’s sport generated 21% extra engagement than final yr’s contest.

“Final evening’s opening sport was nice information for NFL advertisers, NFL broadcast companions, and the league,” stated EDO CEO Kevin Krim through e mail. “We noticed robust year-over-year efficiency with high search scores considerably larger than final yr’s opener.”

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