NBC says 'Sunday Night Football' was TV's most-watched program in 2017

Shutdown Corner

With the NFL deciding that there won’t be a “Sunday Night Football” game for the final week of the regular season, the 12th season of “SNF” on NBC has concluded.

The network sent out a release on Thursday touting its ratings as well as its ratings dominance over the competition in primetime.

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According to NBC, Nielsen Company data shows “Sunday Night Football” is on pace to finish as the number one primetime television show in all key metrics for the seventh straight year, a record; previously, it was tied with “American Idol” for most consecutive years atop the ratings chart at six.

Numbers have been kept since 1950.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched show in primetime for a record seventh-straight year. (AP)
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched show in primetime for a record seventh-straight year. (AP)

“SNF” averaged 18.2 million viewers per week. The next closest show, CBS’ “Thursday Night Football,” which only aired five weeks, averaged 14.1 million viewers, while CBS sitcom “Big Bang Theory” averaged 14.037 viewers.

“Thursday Night Football” on NBC, which aired six times, drew an average of 14.036 million viewers.

But while Sports Business Daily reporter Austin Karp tweeted that the 18.2 million number represents the lowest for “SNF” since 2008, viewership numbers are down across the board: the gap between “SNF” and the second-most watched show, “TNF” on CBS, was 29 percent, which marks the most-dominant season in “SNF” history, according to NBC. It was better than “Big Bang Theory,” the top-rated scripted primetime show, by 30 percent.

The demographic advertisers pays closest attention to is adults 18-49, and there “SNF” was a big winner too: the 6.1 rating was tops among the demographic for the 10th straight television season; the closest scripted primetime show, “The Walking Dead,” earned a 3.8 rating in the 18-49 demo.

Four “Sunday Night Football” games topped 20 million viewers; only two other primetime shows hit that number this fall – Games 6 and 7 of the World Series. Keep in mind, “SNF” games are regular season, not playoffs.

NBC will broadcast Super Bowl LII on February 4, and will also have a Wilcard playoff game and Divisional-round game.

The 10 most-watched primetime games this fall:

Show, Date

Avg. Viewers

World Series on FOX (Astros-Dodgers, Game 7), 11/1

28.3 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Giants-Cowboys), 9/10

24.4 million

World Series on Fox (Astros-Dodgers, Game 6), 10/31

22.3 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Chiefs-Patriots), 9/7

21.8 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Eagles-Cowboys), 11/19

21.1 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Packers-Falcons), 9/17

20.2 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Eagles-Seahawks), 12/3

19.7 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Falcons-Patriots), 10/22

19.25 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Raiders), 12/17     

19.19 million

NBC Sunday Night Football (Packers-Steelers), 11/26

19.0 million


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