It’s been another monster ratings fall for the National Football League, as 15 games have already drawn 25 million viewers or more — nearly double the number (eight) for all of last season.
In Nielsen’s ratings that incorpoate live viewing and same-day DVR playback, the NFL has accounted for the top 24 most-watched telecasts since Labor Day. The only non-NFL program in the top 25 is CBS drama vet “NCIS,” whose season premiere in late September drew 20.02 million same-night viewers.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is off to the franchise’s best start yet, and is once again the season’s dominant primetime program. Its two November games featuring the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos (against the Chiefs and Patriots) each topped 26 million to stand as the most popular primetime November NFL games in 17 years.
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” is up year-over-year too and figures to draw two of its biggest crowds yet for its attractive early-December matchups (Saints-Seahawks and Cowboys-Bears).
The Broncos have become the league’s biggest draw, appearing in six of the fall’s 10 most-watched games, according to Nielsen.
Heading into Thanksgiving’s annual triple-header of action, here were the games that drew the largest audiences this season: Top 10 NFL Games of the Season