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NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' on pace to be TV's #1 primetime show for unprecedented 8th consecutive year


Wed, Jan 2nd 2019 04:20 pm

Viewership up 7% from ’17

NBC recently concluded its 13th season of “Sunday Night Football,” posting a 7 percent viewership increase from last year, and once again pacing to finish as primetime’s No. 1 TV show in all key metrics for an unprecedented eighth consecutive year – adding to its record for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on official live plus same day data provided by Nielsen.

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

  • 8 years in a row – “Sunday Night Football” (2011-12 through 2018-19; 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)

NBC “Sunday Night Football” posted a total audience delivery average of 19.6 million viewers in 2018 – up 7 percent from last year (18.4 million) – according to official national live plus same day data released by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

“SNF’s” 2018 season was its most dominant ever in average viewership (a 35 percent advantage) and household rating (up 28 percent) compared to primetime’s No. 2 show. In addition, “SNF” delivered nine of the 10 most-watched primetime telecasts on any network since September.

“With compelling matchups featuring high-scoring offenses and exciting new players, we’ve had another great NFL season with viewership increases across the board,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports. “We’re looking forward to the playoffs, with the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles against the new ‘Monsters of the Midway,’ and a divisional matchup featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and new star Patrick Mahomes.”

NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio show averaged 7.1 million viewers from 7:30-8:15 p.m. ET – up 4 percent from last year (6.9 million) – and continues its reign as sports’ most-watched weekly studio show for the 13th consecutive year (since “FNIA’s” 2006 debut season). In addition, the 8-8:23 p.m. portion of “FNIA,” including pre-kick coverage), averaged 11.6 million viewers, and a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49. It would rank No. 4 among regularly scheduled primetime shows in the demographic.

‘SNF’ Posts Greatest Viewership Advantage Over Primetime’s #2 Show in Series History

“SNF” averaged 19.3 million TV viewers in 2018, which topped the No. 2 primetime show by 35 percent, marking the most dominant season in NBC “SNF” history (since 2006 debut), and up from last year’s 29 percent advantage. “SNF” also beat the top scripted series (CBS’s “Big Bang Theory”) by 52 percent in the fall, up from last year’s 30 percent advantage.

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