NFL Ratings Up In More Than Half Of Local Markets

Make no mistake, NFL fans are as hungry as ever for a large order of Justin Herbert and a fresh side of Cardinal. But when it comes time to hunting Bears or dining with Texans, fans would rather starve.

Per the Sports Business Journal, NFL ratings are up in 21 of 32 markets this fall, with Herbert's Chargers leading the way.

On Monday, Sports Business Journal's John Ourand shared the NFL local market ratings through Sunday's games and compared those ratings with last season's numbers. Only 11 team markets saw a drop in viewership from 2020 to 2021. Unsurprisingly, the league's second-worst team, Houston, saw the biggest year-to-year decline (-17%).

Curiously, football-crazed Pittsburgh's ratings have dropped by 7%, and the usually diehard Chicago fanbase appears to be less interested in rookie quarterback Justin Fields than most would've imagined. Bears ratings have declined by 13%. Who woulda thunk Mitch Trubisky would be ratings gold in the Windy City?

Amongst the top 10 teams to see an increase in local ratings, only the 5-5 Panthers have a non-winning record. And though the Chargers have seen the biggest increase in year-to-year ratings (24%), their overall viewership rating of 8.7 still trails the cross-town Rams (10.0). That gap will likely close now that made-for-TV receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is running routes for the Rams.

It's never easy to serve a meal that pleases everyone, but through 10 weeks, the NFL is at least giving fans something to chew on.


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Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival. Follow him on X (@OhioAF).