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NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' concludes season on pace to be TV's #1 primetime show for unprecedented 9th consecutive year

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Thu, Jan 2nd 2020 12:35 pm

2019 season averages 20.5 million viewers, best in four years

With Sunday night’s San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks matchup, NBC concluded its 14th season of “Sunday Night Football,” posting its highest average viewership since the series’ record 2015 season. “SNF” is once again pacing to finish as primetime’s No. 1 TV show in all key metrics for an unprecedented ninth 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, #1 Ranked Show in Primetime, Since 1950

  • 9 years in a row – ‘Sunday Night Football’ (2011-12 through 2019-20; 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)

“SNF” posted a total audience delivery average of 20.5 million viewers in 2019 – up 5% from last year (19.6 million) and a 12% increase over 2017 (18.4 million), according to fast national live plus same day data released by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

The 49ers- Seahawks NFC West Championship game, which concluded with a defensive stop inches short of the goal line, averaged 23.3 million viewers across all platforms, ranking as NBC “SNF’s” most-watched game ever among West Coast teams. In addition, TV-only viewership on NBC for the game peaked at 25.7 million viewers for the conclusion from 11:15-11:28 p.m. ET.

“Last night’s season finale featured the down-to-the wire drama that we love about the NFL. With exciting games featuring compelling new stars emerging at quarterback, coupled with veterans at the position who rank among the best in history, we’ve had a terrific season with viewership increases across the board,” said Pete Bevacqua, president of NBC Sports Group. “We’re looking forward to the playoffs, with the Wilson-Wentz matchup in the wild card, and a divisional game featuring the NFC No. 1 seed San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo.”

  • ‘FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA’ IS MOST-WATCHED STUDIO SHOW FOR 14TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio show averaged 7.3 million viewers from 7:30-8:15 p.m. this season – up 2% from last year (7.1 million). “FNIA” continues its reign as sports’ most-watched weekly studio show for the 14th consecutive year (since the show’s 2006 debut season). In addition, the 8-8:23 p.m. portion of “FNIA” (including pre-kick coverage) averaged 12.2 million viewers (through Week 16), and a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49, which would respectively rank No. 3 and No. 4 among regularly scheduled primetime shows in the demographic.

  • ‘SNF’ DELIVERS DECADE’S MOST PRIMETIME BROADCASTS WITH 20+ MILLION VIEWERS

The San Francisco-Seattle matchup on was the final NFL game of the decade of the 2010s. With an average TV-only viewership of 22.8 million, 49ers-Seahawks marks the 104th NBC “SNF” regular-season game of the decade to average at least 20 million viewers – easily topping all other primetime shows.

Most-Watched Primetime Shows This Fall (Sept. 5-Dec. 29, 2019), TV only

Show, Date

Avg. Viewers

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Cowboys-Saints), 9/29

24.2 million

FOX World Series (Nationals-Astros, Game 7), 10/30

23.2 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Vikings-Cowboys), 11/10

23.1 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (49ers-Seahawks), 12/29

22.8 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Steelers-Patriots), 9/8

22.3 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Packers-Bears), 9/5

22.2 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Patriots-Ravens), 11/3

22.2 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Patriots-Texans), 12/1

21.6 million

NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ (Eagles-Cowboys), 10/20

21.6 million

ESPN CFP Semifinal (Ohio State-Clemson), 12/28

21.2 million*

Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Data, 9/5/19-12/29/19; Excludes Pre- and Post-Shows

*Viewership across four television networks

'SNF' AVERAGE (P2+) VIEWERSHIP RANK AMONG PRIMETIME SHOWS:

Fall TV Season Full TV Season

2019

No. 1 Show

1st (through 12/29/19)

2018

No. 1 Show

1st

2017

No. 1 Show

1st

2016

No. 1 Show

1st

2015

No. 1 Show

1st

2014

No. 1 Show

1st

2013

No. 1 Show

1st

2012

No. 1 Show

1st

2011

No. 1 Show

1st

2010

No. 1 Show

3rd

2009

No. 2 Show

4th

2008

No. 5 Show

8th

2007

No. 7 Show

8th

2006

No. 7 Show

9th

Source: The Nielsen Company, Live + Same Day Viewing

‘SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL’ TOP 20 METERED MARKETS – 2019 SEASON:

For the second consecutive year, and fifth time (2010, 2011 and 2013) in 10 seasons, New Orleans was the top-rated “SNF” market. Milwaukee was the top-rated “SNF” market in 2017 and 2012, while Denver ranked No. 1 for three consecutive seasons from 2014-16 (*asterisked markets through Week 16).

1. New Orleans*

24.7/34

2. Kansas City

20.5/33

3. Milwaukee

19.8/32

4. Albuquerque*

18.1/29

5. Pittsburgh

17.9/28

6. Buffalo*

17.4/27

7. Seattle

16.8/32

8. Dallas

16.3/28

9. Minneapolis

16.1/30

T10. Richmond*

15.6/25

T10. Providence

15.6/27

12. Denver

15.4/28

T13. Philadelphia

14.9/25

T13. Las Vegas

14.9/26

T13. Austin

14.9/28

T16. San Diego

14.8/29

T16. Norfolk

14.8/26

18. Indianapolis

14.4/24

19. Chicago

14.0/25

20. San Antonio

13.9/24

 

 


NBC will televise an NFC Wild Card game this Sunday, Jan. 5, as the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) host the Seattle Seahawks (11-5), with coverage beginning at 4 p.m. with a special “Football Night in America.” The following weekend on NBC, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers (13-3) host the opening game of the NFL Divisional Playoffs on Saturday, Jan. 11, with coverage beginning at 3 p.m. with a special expanded “FNIA.”

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