Five-Week Observation: NFL is on Fire and Smoking Digitally

Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

We are five weeks into the NFL season, and it ain't bragging if you can back it up, right? The NFL is the coolest kid in school who came back from summer vacation even more popular. NFL Media put out some numbers showing just how on fire the league has been thus far, ratings-wise.

The numbers that stand out the most here are the digital ones. Streaming for the NFL is up 51 percent over last year, which almost seems impossible. It would seem as though some viewers who watched on television last year are now watching the games digitally. But if you combine them, they are still up 6 percent year-over-year. So, this is not just a case of fans pivoting to streaming. As hard as it is to have total viewership gains in 2019, the NFL is doing it.

This hot start even comes with some bad luck with injuries to some of the league's most interesting quarterbacks (Also, Andrew Luck retiring). There is reason to believe these percentages will rise even higher as the season progresses. The NFL has also had to deal with going head-to-head with some impressive cable news ratings on several Mondays and Thursdays which likely has prevented those numbers from being even more impressive. Such as on September 30, when Monday Night Football's total viewership and the combination of FOX News, MSNBC, and CNN at 9 p.m. ET were only a few million apart.

Many will look at the NFL having all 20 of the top 20 television programs, but that is nothing new. And nothing is going to get in their way as they continue to dunk on the other sports leagues and television shows.

Hmm, whatever happened to the that narrative the NFL was in real trouble and a dying sport?

Related stories on The Big Lead:

This Daryl Morey-China Situation is the NBA-Loving Sports Media's Worst Nightmare

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Tua Tagovailoa to the Rescue in Miami

VIDEO: Tucker Carlson Blasts 'Phony' and 'Corporate Stooge' Steve Kerr