What domestic abuse crisis? NFL games dominate fall TV viewership

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NFL commish Roger Goodell may not have much to smile about these days, but his league remains popular on TV.
Image: LM Otero/Associated Press

Despite a massive domestic violence and credibility scandal, despite mounting concern over the dangerous effects of a violent game, despite calls for its commissioner’s resignation, Americans still love to watch themselves some NFL football.

Since the NFL season kicked off on Sept. 4, its games account for 28 of the 30 most-watched TV shows this autumn, according to stats released by the league on Thursday. The only outliers? Game 7 of the World Series and an episode of NCIS.

Here are the 30 most-viewed TV programs since Sept. 4, according to what the NFL released on Thursday.


Image: NFL

Of course, that chart reminds us of the classic moment on Monday Night Football in September, when ESPN’s Chris Berman tried to have some Very Serious Real Talk mid-broadcast, only to be distracted by — shall we say — more important matters.

So, for the short term, the NFL remains popular. Where it ranks among American sports fans a couple decades from now, however, bears watching.

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