27 million viewers in 9:30 p.m. ET half hour as Manning threw record-breaking 509th TD pass
Denver QB Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's record for career touchdown passes Sunday to lead the Broncos to a one-sided, 42-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in NBC's most-watched "Sunday Night Football" game of the season, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company.
49ers-Broncos was watched by an average of 23.8 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Sunday night game this season, edging the 23.7 million who watched Manning and the Broncos defeat his successor, Andrew Luck, and the Colts, 31-24, in the season-opening "SNF" game Sept. 7. The only primetime game to top 49ers-Broncos this season is Packers-Seahawks in the Thursday "NFL Kickoff" game on NBC (26.9 million viewers Sept. 4).
In addition, the telecast peaked at an average of 27.0 million viewers during the 9:30 p.m. ET half hour when Manning threw his record-setting 509th career touchdown pass - an eight-yard strike to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas with 3:09 remaining in the second quarter.
49ers-Broncos on "Sunday Night Football" (8:31-11:23 p.m. ET) was the most-watched and highest rated (13.8/23) primetime show of the week based on live + same day metrics, and also topped primetime in adults 18-49 and all key male demographics.
Through eight NFL telecasts, NBC is averaging 22.1 million viewers - marking the second consecutive year and the only two years since acquiring the "SNF" package in 2006 that NBC has topped 22 million viewers at this point in the season. This season's 22 million-plus viewership average has come despite a score differential of at least 17 points at some point in each game.