NFL season sparks big rise in sports streaming app downloads

NFL
As sports streaming app downloads surged, the NFL’s television ratings slumped somewhat compared with last season. (Josh Hallett/Flickr)

The NFL season, which kicked off last week Thursday, has helped spark a big uptick in downloads for sports streaming apps.

App Annie, a mobile data and analytics provider, said that sports streaming sites and the NFL app collectively saw 180% growth in downloads during the first four days of the official NFL season (Sept 10-13) compared to the four days prior across the NFL, ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sports and FOX Sports GO mobile apps, which all totaled up nearly half a million downloads.

The firm also said the NFL rose to the top spot for daily iPhone downloads among Sports apps on Thurs, Sept 10 in the U.S., and retained that rank on Friday and Sunday. The NFL app reached the number two spot for overall iPhone daily downloads on Sun, Sept 13 in the U.S.

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During the same time period, ESPN reached the top spot on Sat, Sept. 12 for daily iPhone downloads among sports apps in the U.S. and number 21 by daily iPhone downloads overall.

As sports streaming app downloads surged, the NFL’s television ratings slumped somewhat compared with last season. The season opener featuring the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Houston Texans scored 19.3 million viewers on NBC, which Deadline said was down 12.3% from the season opener in 2019. However, after factoring in the NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital platforms, the total audience rose to 20.3 million thanks for digital ratings that were up 55% compared to the high from 2019 (excluding the Super Bowl).

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