When the Chicago Bears are good and competitive, a lotta fans want to watch them play.
For example, the audience size for the Bears’ Thursday Night Football win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was up 22% over last year:
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 9, 2020
At 17.4 million viewers across FOX and NFL Network, Bears-Bucs was the 9th most-watched game of the young NFL season.
There’s no question that Tom Brady and the new-look Bucs played a part in the figure. The Bucs’ Week One game against the Saints on FOX was the network’s biggest Week One game since 2016. No other Bucs game has been among the top rated games of the year, however, and the Saints show up three times. So, yeah, it’s not all the Bucs.
Moreover, you have to consider that, through this weekend, the NFL’s ratings this year across all nights is down a whopping 10% from last year. So for any weeknight match-up to outpace last year is a big story, especially when it was going up head-to-head against the MLB postseason.
This shouldn’t shock anyone, as the Bears do have a very large, passionate fan base that is perennially desperate for any reason to believe the team might be competitive. Do they look like a team that’s gonna cruise to the postseason this year, and make a deep run? No, not really. But at the same time, they’re now working with a new quarterback who may improve with more time to adjust to his new group of players, and they’ve locked in a 4-1 record in the early going. That gets you part of the way.
And as long as they stay competitive, fans will be watching – hopefully that means more national exposure.
Also? No wonder Marquee wanted to pick up some Bears content.