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'Sunday Night Football' pacing for record 6th consecutive year as primetime TV's No. 1 show

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Wed, Dec 21st 2016 08:15 am

With two games remaining this season, NBC's "Sunday Night Football" is on pace to continue its decade-long primetime TV dominance. Among the highlights:

For the sixth consecutive season, "Sunday Night Football" is pacing to finish as television's No. 1 primetime TV show - joining "American Idol" as the only programs since 1950 with a six-year run at No. 1 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data).

Most Consecutive Years, No. 1 Ranked Show in Primetime, Since 1950

  • 6 years in a row - "Sunday Night Football" (2011-12 through 2016-17; on pace)
  • 6 years in a row - "American Idol" (2005-06 through 2010-11)
  • 5 years in a row - "The Cosby Show" (1985-86 through 1989-90; tied "Cheers" in '89-90)
  • 5 years in a row - "All in the Family" (1971-72 through 1975-76)
  • 4 years in a row - "Gunsmoke" (1957-58 through 1960-61)

"Sunday Night Football" again ranks No. 1 among primetime shows this season in average viewership, household rating, and the advertiser-coveted adult 18-49 demographic, easily beating its competitors (Nielsen Live + Same Day data, excluding repeats, Sept. 8-Dec. 18).

In each of its 11 seasons (2006-16), "SNF" has averaged at least a 10.0 U.S. household rating (11.4 this season) and a 5.0 rating in the key adult 18-49 demographic (7.0 this season). Among other primetime shows, only "American Idol" and "Grey's Anatomy" have posted a 10.0 HH rating and a 5.0 demo rating more than twice in that 11-year stretch, and neither has done so since 2011. Other than "SNF," the NBC/NFL Network "Thursday Night Football" series is the only other primetime show this fall reaching those numbers (10.0 HH rating/5.2 adult 18-49). (Nielsen Live + Same Day data; excludes pre- and post-game shows)

With an average of 24.1 million viewers for the NBC-only "SNF" broadcast of Buccaneers-Cowboys, NBC has nine primetime NFL telecasts with at least 20 million viewers this fall, more than doubling the primetime total of all other networks combined (four) (Nielsen Live + Same Day data).

NBC/NFL Network's "Thursday Night Football," featuring the "SNF" team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in the booth, with executive producer Fred Gaudelli and director Drew Esocoff in the truck, ranks as primetime TV's No. 2 show this fall with an average of 16.8 million viewers - a 14 percent increase over CBS/NFLN early-season "TNF" games (14.7 million) (Nielsen Live + Same Day Data).

NBC's Sunday night "Football Night in America" is pacing to continue as sports' most-watched weekly studio show for the 11th consecutive year - a streak which began in its 2006 debut season.

Led by its NFL and 2016 Rio Olympics coverage, NBC has posted 30 of the 50 most-watched shows of 2016 - more than all of the other networks combined (Nielsen Live + Same Day data, Dec. 28, 2015, through Dec. 18).

NBC Sports Digital has already set a season "SNF" record with 577 million live streaming minutes across NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NFL Mobile from Verizon. The 577 million minutes total to date already exceeds all prior full seasons of NFL games on NBC, which included playoff games and two Super Bowls.

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