News

NBC “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” ON PACE TO BE TV’S #1 PRIMETIME SHOW FOR UNPRECEDENTED 8TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR; VIEWERSHIP UP 7% FROM ’17

Most Dominant Season Ever for NBC SNF in Average Viewership & HH Rating vs. Competition; SNF Delivers 9 of 10 Most-Watched Primetime Telecasts on Any Network Since September

Demo Dominance Continues: SNF Wins among Adults 18-49 for 11th Consecutive Fall Season

NBC’s Football Night in America is Sports’ #1 Weekly Studio Show for 13th Consecutive Year, Up 4% from 2017

NBC Sports Digital Sets Multiple SNF Streaming Records – Nearly Doubling Consumption vs. 2017

STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 2, 2019 – NBC recently concluded its 13th season of Sunday Night Football, posting a 7% viewership increase from last year, and once again pacing to finish as primetime’s #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, #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 rowAmerican Idol (2005-06 through 2010-11)

5 years in a rowThe Cosby Show (1985-86 through 1989-90)…tied Cheers in ‘89-90

5 years in a rowAll in the Family (1971-72 through 1975-76)

4 years in a rowGunsmoke (1957-58 through 1960-61)

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

NBC Sunday Night Football’s 2018 season was its most dominant ever in average viewership (+35% advantage) and household rating (+28%) compared to primetime’s #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% 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. ET portion of Football Night in America (including pre-kick coverage), averaged 11.6 million viewers, and a 3.5 rating among Adults 18-49, which 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

NBC Sunday Night Football averaged 19.3 million TV viewers in 2018, which topped the #2 primetime show by 35% -- marking the most dominant season in NBC SNF history (since 2006 debut), and up from last year’s 29% advantage. SNF also beat the top scripted series (Big Bang Theory) by 52% in the fall, up from last year’s 30% advantage.

Top Fall 2018 Primetime Programs, Viewership (TV only)

ProgramAvg. ViewersSNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football19.3 million--
Thursday Night Football*14.3 million35%
Big Bang Theory 12.7 million52%
NCIS12.1 million60%
Monday Night Football11.4 million69%

(Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Viewing, Sept.6, 2018-Dec. 30, 2018; regularly-scheduled programs; excludes pre- and post-shows)

*11 FOX/NFLN telecasts

  • SNF HAS ITS LARGEST-EVER HOUSEHOLD RATING ADVANTAGE

SNF averaged an 11.0/21 household rating in posting the series’ largest-ever advantage (28%) over primetime’s #2 show (up from a 20% advantage last year). SNF also easily topped the highest-rated scripted series (Big Bang Theory), with a 43% margin (up from a 23% edge last year).

Top Fall 2018 Primetime Programs, U.S. HH Rating (TV only)

ProgramU.S. HH RatingSNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football11.0--
Thursday Night Football*8.628%
Big Bang Theory 7.743%
NCIS7.547%
60 Minutes7.057%

(Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Viewing, Sept. 6, 2018-Dec. 30, 2018; regularly-scheduled programs; excludes pre- and post-shows)

*11 FOX/NFLN telecasts

  • DEMO DOMINANCE -- SNF WINS ADULT 18-49 DEMO FOR 11TH CONSECUTIVE FALL SEASON

SNF averaged a 6.1 rating in the Adult 18-49 demographic, ranking as primetime television’s #1 show in the advertiser-coveted demo for the 11th consecutive fall TV season. The 6.1 in the demo nearly tripled Big Bang Theory, primetime’s highest-rated scripted series among Adults 18-49.

Top Fall 2018 Primetime Programs, Adult 18-49 Rating (TV only)

ProgramAdult 18-49 RatingSNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football6.1--
Thursday Night Football*4.439%
Monday Night Football3.861%
Big Bang Theory2.2177%
This is Us2.2177%

(Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Viewing, Sept. 6, 2018-Dec. 30, 2018; regularly-scheduled programs; excludes pre- and post-shows)

*11 FOX/NFLN telecasts

Additional highlights from the 2018 NBC Sunday Night Football season:

  • The Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for the 2018 Sunday Night Football season on NBC and NBC Sports Digital was 19.6 million viewers – up 7% from last year (18.4 million). For SNF, NBC Sports Group’s Total Audience Delivery measures broader consumption by calculating average minute viewing across broadcast and digital.
  • Seven NBC Sunday Night Football games this season topped 20 million TV viewers – nearly double the four such SNF games last year. Only one other primetime show averaged 20 million viewers this past fall (chart below).
  • In each of its 13 seasons (2006-18), Sunday Night Football has averaged at least a 10.0 U.S. household rating (11.0 this season) and a 5.0 rating in the key Adult 18-49 demographic (6.1 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 13-year stretch, and neither has done so since 2011. (Nielsen Live + Same Day Data, 9/6/18-12/30/18; Excludes Pre- and Post-Game Shows)

NBC SNF GAMES PRODUCE 9 OF 10 MOST-WATCHED PRIMETIME SHOWS THIS FALL

NBC Sunday Night Football accounted for nine of the top 10, and 16 of the 20 most-watched primetime telecasts between Sept. 6, 2018 and Dec. 30, 2018 (up from eight of the top 10, and 14 of the top 20 last year).

Following are the programs topping 20 million primetime viewers this fall (TV only):

ProgramTelecasts with 20 Million Viewers
NBC Sunday Night Football7
FOX/NFLN Thursday Night Football1

Most-Watched Primetime Shows This Fall (Sept. 6, 2018-Dec. 30, 2018), TV only

Show, DateAvg. Viewers
NBC Sunday Night Football (Packers-Patriots), 11/423.7 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Bears-Packers), 9/922.2 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Falcons-Saints), 11/22 21.7 million
FOX/NFLN Thurs. Night Football (Saints-Cowboys), 11/2921.4 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Chiefs-Patriots), 10/1421.2 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Giants-Cowboys), 9/1620.7 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Packers-Vikings), 11/2520.5 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Eagles), 11/1120.2 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Chiefs-Seahawks), 12/2319.6 million
NBC Sunday Night Football (Patriots-Lions), 9/2319.5 million

Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Data, 9/6/18-12/30/18; Excludes Pre- and Post-Shows

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

Fall TV Season Full TV Season

2018No. 1 Show1st (through 12/30/18)
2017No. 1 Show1st
2016No. 1 Show1st
2015No. 1 Show1st
2014No. 1 Show1st
2013 No. 1 Show1st
2012No. 1 Show1st
2011No. 1 Show1st
2010No. 1 Show3rd
2009No. 2 Show4th
2008No. 5 Show8th
2007No. 7 Show8th
2006No. 7 Show9th

Source: The Nielsen Company, Live + Same Day Viewing

SNF SETS MULTIPLE STREAMING RECORDS: NBC Sports Digital set multiple regular-season SNF records in 2018. With NBC Sports app live SNF streaming available for the first time on mobile phones (vs. tablets only in prior years) consumption nearly doubled from last year. Fans consumed 1.2 billion live streaming minutes (up 80% from 688 million), with an average minute audience of 318,000 viewers (up 81% from 176,000) across NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and NFL Digital platforms.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TOP 30 METERED MARKETS – FULL 2018 SEASON:

For the first time since 2013 and fourth time (2010 and 2011) in nine seasons, New Orleans was the top-rated SNF market. Milwaukee was the top-rated SNF market last year and in 2012, while Denver ranked #1 for three consecutive seasons from 2014-16.

1. New Orleans24.1/34
2. Kansas City21.0/32
3. Minneapolis19.3/33
4. Milwaukee18.7/29
5. Dallas16.4/28
6. Richmond16.2/26
7. Norfolk16.1/26
8. Philadelphia15.8/26
9. Albuquerque15.7/25
10. Chicago15.6/26
11. Pittsburgh15.4/24
12. Seattle15.2/28
13. Denver15.1/27
14. Washington, D.C.14.6/27
15. Houston 14.5/25
16. Indianapolis14.2/23
T17. Nashville14.1/22
T17. Austin14.1/25
T19. San Diego13.9/26
T19. Phoenix13.9/24
21. Las Vegas13.7/24
22. San Antonio13.6/22
23. Baltimore13.3/23
24. Buffalo13.1/21
25. Greensboro13.0/21
26. Memphis12.9/19
27. Cincinnati12.8/21
28. Providence12.7/21
29. Dayton12.6/21
30. Sacramento12.5/23

NBC will televise an NFC Wild Card game this Sunday, Jan. 6, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) visit the NFC North Champion Chicago Bears (12-4), with coverage beginning at 4 p.m. ET. The following weekend on NBC, NFL touchdown pass leader Patrick Mahomes and the AFC #1 seed Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) host the opening game of the NFL Divisional Playoffs on Saturday, Jan. 12, with coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

--SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL--

Media contacts

Dan Masonson
203-356-2790
Dan.Masonson@nbcuni.com