CBS, a part of ViacomCBS Inc., stated one in every of its two video games—Cleveland versus Kansas Metropolis—was its most-watched opening weekend matchup since 2015, with an viewers of 19.5 million.

Fox Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN haven’t launched their scores but.

The rebound is an early vindication of the media firms’ massive long-term bets on the game’s reputation. Earlier this 12 months, CBS, Comcast Corp.’s NBC, Fox, ESPN and Amazon.com Inc. agreed to spend $105 billion on NFL broadcast rights for an additional decade. Whereas the game is by far TV’s largest attraction, there have been indicators going into this season that viewers had been tuning out. Final 12 months, regular-season NFL viewership fell 7%.

However final season’s decline could possibly be blamed partly on components associated to the pandemic, together with scheduling disruptions, making this season a greater take a look at of the NFL’s longer-term worth as a draw for advertisers. Thus far, viewers are coming again.

—Bloomberg Information