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NBC’s ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’ Draws 25 Million Viewers

It's the largest audience on record for the annual event; 'National Dog Show' also rises

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Ratings
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

On the same day NBC was basking in the ratings success of its live “Sound of Music” presentation, it also learned that one of its annual live events — the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — has produced its best numbers yet.

According to Nielsen, Thursday’s coverage of the 87th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 9 a.m. to noon ET generated the event’s biggest average audience in the 26-year history of Nielsen’s People Meter sample, 25.2 million. This is a 12% gain from last year’s 22.4 million.

NBC Research estimates that 46.7 million viewers watched all or some of the parade, up 8% from last year’s 43.2 million and the biggest cume audience for the event in 20 years (since 47.1  million in 1993).

In adults 18-49, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade did a 6.6 rating/27 share (roughly 8.4 million in this age group), up 2% from last year’s 6.5/26 and the top score since a 6.7 in 2004.

This year’s parade was hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today.”

NBC also did well from noon to 2 p.m. ET with its coverage of “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina,” whose 10.7 million viewers repped a 16% build on last year and the largest for the show in its 12 years as an NBC Thanksgiving event. It also hit an eight-year high in adults 18-49 (2.6/10).