Ratings problem? Redskins-Cowboys was most-watched regular-season game in Fox history

Thursday wasn’t the best day for those who claim the NFL’s sky is falling due to a ratings dip.

The NFL still blows away anything else in the sporting realm when it comes to ratings, and the Thanksgiving game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys was another example. Fox said 35.1 million people watched, making it the most-watched regular-season game in the network’s history. Fox has been broadcasting NFL games since 1994.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said it’s the most-watched regular-season game for any network since the Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs played on Thanksgiving in 1995. That game drew 35.7 million viewers.

To put that in perspective, Game 7 of last season’s NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, one of the most anticipated games in NBA history (and one of the best as well), drew 30.8 million viewers. That was the most ever for an NBA game on ABC. And an NFL Week 12 game beat that by about 14 percent.

The NFL’s ratings dip wasn’t made up or anything, but the outcry about it has always seemed a bit disingenuous. People enjoy tearing down successful things, and the NFL is the latest target it seems. But football’s popularity is just fine. Drawing 35.1 million viewers for a regular-season game seems to be a good indicator of that.

A lot of people tuned in to see Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys beat the Redskins (AP)
A lot of people tuned in to see Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys beat the Redskins (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!