NFL week 1 draws viewers and advertisers but few crypto promotions

Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer joins the Live show to discuss viewership ratings in the first week of the NFL season and U.S. Open attendance.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: Well, football season is officially upon us, as week one of the NFL's season wraps up tonight, and despite competing with major international news, the league still managed to pull off impressive viewership numbers. Joining us now with more on that is Yahoo Finance's, Josh Schafer. All people really need to know is that the Eagles won here, Josh, let's be real. But what else took place within the viewership?

JOSH SCHAFER: Outside of an Eagles win, Brad, there were a few other highlights, right? So it's early as far as overall viewership numbers go. We should note that. The games just wrapped up last night, right? And we still have a game tonight. So we don't have a full view on NFL viewership as a whole quite yet, but we do have pretty good sense on Thursday night, the season opener, 21 million plus is what NBC is saying for now. They'll have that official, official number later on this afternoon.


That's down from last year about 20%, but up from 2020, and really most notable, it's down, but there were some pretty big headwinds last Thursday when we think about Queen Elizabeth dying, and we think about the fact that the game was also kind of a blowout. So there was other news going on, and maybe that game wasn't that interesting at that particular time with some other world news happening-- probably a little bit bigger than sports.

Some other things to note from that game that we did get a look into advertising and kind of what companies are winning that battle early. Apple's iPhone 14, unsurprisingly, according to EDO, was the most popular searched product after ads. Few other names that won in that space was Toyota with their Tundra had a very popular ad, Chevy Equinox, and Applebee's boneless wings.

And then I wanted to highlight two in the gambling space. We had a couple of interesting things come up as far as advertisements go. We're always watching those promotions. DraftKings brought in 76% of search value from their ads. They had three ads and FanDuel had three ads, but DraftKings for some reason, dominated that. Likely looking at it, it's probably the promotions. We're always wondering, do people actually care about if they're getting more money? DraftKings was offering $50 more of free money. They had a lot more people search for their product after, so we saw an early win there.

And the final note in advertising that EDO pointed out, wasn't a lot of crypto this year, guys.

JULIE HYMAN: Oh, yeah, gee, I wonder why.

JOSH SCHAFER: Something we followed it all offseason, to Tom Brady's chagrin. The early indicator there might not be a lot of crypto ads this year, but we'll have to see.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I'm always interested-- to get back to sports betting for a minute-- on the ultimate ROI they're going to get on all of those promotions, which I know you've talked a lot about. There was another big sporting event that got a lot of viewership also. I'm talking about the US Open.

Yeah. Yeah, the US Open, a lot of viewership in person this year is really an all-time record. Most fans they've ever had attend the US Open in New York, 776,000 fans attended the event over the course of that, and the every session at Arthur Ashe Stadium was sold out this year. That's a first for that venue. Now viewership, we're showing Serena Williams right now. We know this was likely her last tournament. That's what drove a lot of that viewership, and we should note that the viewership did sort of taper off after Serena lost.

And we haven't had the official numbers from yesterday's finals yet, but it probably won't top the 2.7 million that Serena had for her first match because that topped last year's Finals too. She was the story. I'm not sure it carried all the way through the tournament for the US Open, which is a little bit of a shame, but the other thing to think about when we talk about sports, we just talked about the NFL, the NFL's King, right? And the NFL drives ratings, and you can only watch so many sports at once.

Yesterday was the first day of the NFL. If that's what you were going to watch, and you're a casual sports fan that just watches what's going on, you probably weren't able to watch the US Open and the NFL.

JULIE HYMAN: How much overlap do we think there is between the NFL fan and the US Open fan?

BRAD SMITH: There's me.

JOSH SCHAFER: I watched both, right, Brad?

JULIE HYMAN: You're the one.

BRAD SMITH: I am the singular person.

JOSH SCHAFER: And yesterday, I watched the NFL. I think you lose a little-- a couple 100,000 people. You're right. They're still going to be 1.5 million that are always going to watch tennis, and they probably don't watch the NFL.


JOSH SCHAFER: But you lose the casual sports fan off the top, which takes away from record numbers.

JULIE HYMAN: There is a new promising crop of tennis players, So I think that's-- that's a good thing.

BRAD SMITH: Alcaraz, one of them, and they're branding him as the next Nadal, like he's trained with Nadal. And so for him to win on the men's side, that was certainly looked at a lot. It's all about how they brand these players, though, too, and how they're able to put an entire marketing engine around them. And that's key, and I don't know that they'll ever compete with the NFL opening day, or something.

JOSH SCHAFER: Julie's right, that is not the competition or the market.

JULIE HYMAN: But still, that's a good point about the overlap there. All right, thanks, Josh.