Ratings: TV Usage Spikes Sunday With Football, World Series and ‘Walking Dead’

'Sunday Night Football' Ratings Top 'The
AP Photo/Joe Mahoney

A matchup of undefeated teams on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” an expanded episode of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and the deciding game of the 2015 World Series on Fox combined to lift television usage among adults 18-49 during primetime on Sunday to their highest level for any night since the Oscars in February. ABC’s “Quantico” took a sizable hit, falling to a season low — though it has shown to be a significant gainer in delayed viewing and could see its biggest percentage lift yet.

According to Nielsen, 36.8% of adults 18-49 in the country were watching television during primetime on Sunday, up 9% from the fall’s average on the night (33.8). And during the 9 o’clock hour, when the night’s three big events were all vying for live viewership, nearly two in five (39.8%) young adults were in front of their sets.

Ratings for “Walking Dead” will be released tomorrow by Nielsen, but in the metered markets it did a 6.8 household rating/10 share from 9 to 10:30. By comparison, “Sunday Night Football” did a 14.3 rating/22 share from 8:30-11:15 p.m. ET, and the World Series scored an 11.7/19.

The much-anticipated football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos — both with quarterbacks destined for the Hall of Fame — averaged a 7.2 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and about 20 million viewers overall on the network’s stations from 8:30 to 11, with these scores expected to rise by more than 10% in the nationals. This will end up in the upper half of results for “SNF” this fall, though the World Series competition certainly kept it from being among the very highest-rated.

This is the highest-rated of the six “SNF” telecasts scheduled up against the World Series in recent years. In the overnights, its 14.3 was up 25% vs. last year’s Green Bay-New Orleans matchup (11.4) opposite the Fall Classic.

At Fox, the World Series averaged a 4.8 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 16.3 million viewers overall on the network’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., with the 12-inning affair expected to rise by about 5% in the finals. The previous high for this series was Tuesday’s Game 1, which averaged a 4.6 in 18-49 and 14.94 million viewers overall in the finals.

ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall), “Once Upon a Time” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) and “Blood & Oil” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) were all within a tick of their week-ago averages. But at 10 p.m., “Quantico” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) slid 20% (0.3) but should rise to at least a 2.0 in Live+3.

Ratings for CBS are subject to some revision due to a 17-minute NFL overrun in seven top-25 markets (New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Minneapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis). The net opened with “60 Minutes” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), which was up from last week in the prelims, but its dramas were all down a bit: “Madam Secretary” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall), “The Good Wife” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Cyber” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall).

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