NFL sees 5 percent increase in TV ratings through Week 12 of season

NFL television ratings are up 5 percent this season, partially stemming a two-year slide that had prompted the league to evaluate all aspects of its operation.

Through 12 weeks of play, NFL games are averaging 15.8 million viewers on television, according to figures released Wednesday by the league. In 2017, its games averaged 14.9 million viewers for the full season. That number was 16.5 million for the entire 2016 season and 17.9 million in 2015.

So far this season, NFL games have accounted for 19 of the top 20 and 46 of the top 50 most-watched shows on television.

The numbers don't include streaming views, a growing part of the NFL's distribution strategy. This season, 13 Thursday night games will be streamed via Amazon Prime.

The rise in 2018 ratings can be attributed in part to what has been the most prolific stretch of offensive football in the league's history. Its total of 8,502 points and 980 touchdowns are the league's highest total through 12 weeks of any season.