Fox, NBC Declare NFL Wins

The final ratings pro football’s regular season are in, and guess which net is claiming victory? Both of them, of course.

Based on household numbers, NBC and its underdog American Football Conference games have surpassed the National Football Conference contests for the first time in 20 years; however, Fox, which this season ended CBS’ 38-year stranglehold on NFC game coverage and in the process launched its own sports department, performed slightly better in terms of young demographics.

Fox posted a 12.1 rating, 28 share in households vs. a 12.5/29 for the Peacock web over the 16-week NFL regular season, for which came to an end last weekend. It was the first ratings win for NBC’s AFC games-which include fewer large markets-since 1975.

NBC’s overall ratings for the season are up 11% from last year’s 11.3, while Fox’s 12.1 represents a 6% dip from CBS’ ’93 coverage.

Fox countered NBC’s numbers with better showings in male demos, including a 9.8 to 9.5 rating advantage among 18-34-year-olds, and a 0.1 rating lead in the 18-49 and 25-54 brackets. Fox also said its “Fox NFL Sunday” one-hour pre-game show was “arguably the most successful launch of a sports studio show in history,” with more households and better male demos than NBC’s half-hour “NFL Live” pre-game offering.

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