Ratings: NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ Dominates Week in Same-Night Viewing

Sunday Night Football” continued its impressive ratings run last week, strengthening its status as television’s top-rated primetime series in same-night viewing and capping another winning frame for NBC.

The overtime NFL contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys last Sunday averaged an 8.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 23 million viewers overall to lead all of primetime for the week of Nov. 2-8 in both categories, according to Nielsen’s “live plus same-day estimates.” It was up vs. last year’s comparable game (Baltimore-Pittsburgh) by nearly 25%. The No. 2 show in the demo last week was AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (6.2), which typically pulls ahead of football in Live+3 delayed viewing, and in total viewers it was CBS drama “NCIS” (17.97 million).

Through the opening nine weeks of the NFL season (10 telecasts), NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was averaging a primetime-best 8.6 same-day rating in 18-49 — a 28% advantage over primetime’s No. 2 show (6.7 for AMC’s “The Walking Dead”). At this point a year ago, “SNF” held a much slimmer 4% advantage over “Walking Dead” (8.0 vs. 7.7). The 8.6 demo rating through Week 9 is the second best in the 10-year history of “Sunday Night Football,” and just a tick behind the 8.7 average of 2011.

In total viewers, “Sunday Night Football” was averaging 23.57 million through Week 9 — up 10% vs. last year. This is the largest audience at this point of the season for the primetime broadcast NFL package in 19 years (since ABC’s “Monday Night Football” in 1996).

This season’s “Sunday Night Football” schedule is somewhat front-loaded, though the franchise figures to finish the season up vs. last year. And the New England-Denver matchup on Nov. 29 has the potential to be among NBC’s top games (if not the highest-rated) of the fall.

Last week’s most-watched program overall was the Sunday afternoon NFL game between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts on CBS, which averaged 23.96 million viewers (but a lower 18-49 rating than “SNF”: 7.4). The game, which ran until a little after 7:30 p.m. ET, aired nationally but was not shown in two top markets (San Francisco-Oakland and Tampa-St. Pete).

NBC won the week in primetime among adults 18-49 — its sixth victory in seven frames this fall — even though CBS scored big on Saturday with the LSU-Alabama college football game (3.6 in 18-49, 11.06 million viewers overall) and ABC dominated Wednesday with the “CMA Awards” (3.7 in 18-49, 13.62 million viewers overall). CBS led as usual in total viewers, drawing about 2 million viewers per average minute than runner-up NBC.

 

TOP PRIMETIME NETWORKS
(Nov. 2-8, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 rating/share
NBC  ……………….  2.4/8
CBS ………………..  2.1/7
ABC ………………..  1.8/6
Fox …………………  1.2/4
ESPN ……………..   1.1/4
UNI …………………  0.8/3
CW …………………  0.6/2
TEL ………………..  0.6/2
AMC ……………….  0.6/2
TBS ………………… 0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ………………….  10.34
NBC …………………    8.27
ABC …………………    7.02
Fox ………………….    3.46
ESPN ………………..   3.10
UNI ………………….    2.18
FNC …………………   1.83
HALL …………………  1.63
CW …………………..  1.58
TEL …………………..  1.53

TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Nov. 2-8, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 rating
1.  Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia-Dallas (NBC), 8.4
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.2
3.  Empire (Fox), 4.6
3.  Monday Night Football: Indianapolis-Carolina (ESPN), 4.6
5.  CMA Awards (ABC), 3.8
6.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.7
7.  College football: LSU-Alabama (CBS), 3.6
8.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.3
10.  Thursday Night Football: Cleveland-Cincinnati (NFLN), 3.1
11.  60 Minutes (CBS), 2.7
12.  Talking Dead (AMC), 2.5
13.  NCIS (CBS), 2.3
13.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.3
15.  Supergirl (CBS), 2.2
15.  Scandal (ABC), 2.2
15.  Blindspot (NBC), 2.2
18.  Survivor (CBS), 2.0
18.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 2.0
20.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 1.9
20.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 1.9
20.  Scorpion (CBS), 1.9
20.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 1.9
20.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 1.9

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia-Dallas (NBC), 23.05
2.  NCIS (CBS), 17.97
3.  60 Minutes (CBS), 15.76
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 14.81
5.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 14.15
6.  CMA Awards (ABC), 13.62
7.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 12.44
8.  Monday Night Football: Indianapolis-Carolina (ESPN), 12.40
9.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 12.09
10.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 12.06
11.  Empire (Fox), 11.68
12.  College football: LSU-Alabama (CBS), 11.06
13.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.90
14.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 10.59
15.  Scorpion (CBS), 9.51
16.  Supergirl (CBS), 8.86
17.  Thursday Night Football: Cleveland-Cincinnati (NFLN), 8.79
18.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 8.85
19.  Survivor (CBS), 8.79
20.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 8.50

 

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