World Series, Football Combine for More Than 30 Million Viewers Sunday Night

Packers-Vikings beats Red Sox-Cardinals in demos, but it's a close finish in total viewers

Sports dominated the broadcast ratings landscape on Sunday night, with an NFL overrun and Game 4 of the World Series lifting Fox to victory. Baseball, at least in the prelims, outdrew NBC’s powerhouse “Sunday Night Football,” though the latter prevailed in key demos.

Preliminary, affiliate-based national estimates from Nielsen are always murky for live sporting events, but the World Series on Fox averaged a 4.4 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 15.4 million viewers overall on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise a bit in the nationals. This is easily the highest-rated game of this Fall Classic, and the most-watched Game 4 since the 2009 series between the Yankees and Phillies.

Head-to-head, the World Series beat “Sunday Night Football” in total viewers (15.4 million to 14.9 million), but the pigskin action could edge ahead in the nationals. In the metered-market overnights for primetime, the World Series beat football,  10.5/16 to 9.9/16.

The Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings on “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 5.6/12 in 18-49 and 14.9 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise in the nationals. This could be the lowest-rated game of the season for the NBC franchise.

Football and AMC’s “Walking Dead” will finish as Sunday’s top two primetime programs in 18-49. Last week, the zombie drama did a 7.1 demo rating.

Elsewhere, ABC’s lineup was up slightly week to week, with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) rising three-tenths at 7. “Once Upon a Time” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) was up a bit as well, while “Revenge” (1.5/3 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) held at last week’s level. At 10, rookie drama “Betrayal” (1.0/2 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) remains low but appears to have grown slightly in young adults for a second straight week.

CBS had football in some markets until 7:30 p.m. ET, so its numbers could be adjusted in the nationals. In the prelims, “60 Minutes” averaged a 1.5/4 in 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers overall, followed by “The Amazing Race” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), “The Good Wife” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) and “The Mentalist” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall). This would mark the second straight week that “Good Wife” was only a bit behind “Revenge” in the 18-49 demo.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 5.1/13; NBC, 4.5/11; ABC and CBS, 1.5/4; Univision, 1.1/3; Telemundo, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: Fox, 16.7 million; NBC, 12.3 million; CBS, 9.1 million; ABC, 5.5 million; Univision, 2.9 million; Telemundo, 1.1 million.

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