TV Ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Wins the Night, Drops Slightly From Week 11

Oriana Schwindt
Variety

Another Sunday night, another dip in NFL primetime ratings. In Nielsen’s metered market overnights, Sunday’s overtime defeat of the Denver Broncos by the Kansas City Chiefs drew an 11.8 household rating for the duration (roughly 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on the East Coast) on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” While that’s an increase from the last time each team appeared on “SNF,” it is down a tenth from the week before, and an unpleasant 37% below the household rating for 2015’s Week 12 “SNF” game, which notched an unseemly 16.2 in the overnights.

Part of that steep decrease may simply be due to the fact that Week 12 in 2015 featured an overtime nail-biter between the Broncos and the undefeated New England Patriots. Given that 2015 was a boom year for NFL ratings, it might be helpful to look a little further into the past. The 2014 equivalent was a Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants contest that drew a 14.0 household rating in the overnights. An 11.8 household rating is still around a 16% drop.

From 8:30 to 11 p.m., the game drew a preliminary 5.8 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 17.34 million viewers. Unlike the household rating, that’s a slight increase over the preliminary numbers for last week’s game. In Nielsen’s final ratings, last week’s Packers-Redskins match-up drew a 6.2 in the demo and 18.7 million viewers.

Elsewhere on the channel guide:

CBS’ lineup was delayed 49 minutes, wreaking some havoc on their numbers. From 8 to 9 p.m., “60 Minutes” (and the first 11 minutes of “NCIS: Los Angeles”) drew a 2.3 rating in the demo and 15.51 million viewers. From 9 to 10 p.m., “NCIS: Los Angeles” drew a 1.4 and 10.65 million viewers. “Madam Secretary” came in with a 0.9 and 7.47 million viewers. From 11 to 11:30 p.m., “Elementary” pulled in a 0.6 and 4.75 million viewers. These will all adjust some in the finals.

On Fox, the sole show airing new episodes was “Bob’s Burgers,” which drew a 1.1 in the demo and 2.41 million viewers.

ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” drew a 1.0 in the demo and 3.28 million viewers. “Secrets and Lies” came in with a 0.7 and 2.78 million viewers. “Quantico” also pulled in a 0.7 in the demo, but only 2.3 million viewers.

And earlier in the weekend:

Saturday

A noon ET start time didn’t keep anyone from watching the highly anticipated Ohio State-Michigan showdown on ABC. The contest, between third-ranked Michigan and second-ranked Ohio State, drew a massive average audience of 16.65 million — and that doesn’t include the copious amount of viewers who likely stumbled into their local watering hole to watch. It earned a 10.4 household rating in Nielsen’s metered market overnights, the best number ABC had seen for a college football game since 2006’s OSU-Michigan game, in which both teams entered undefeated and first-ranked Ohio State beat second-ranked Michigan. That game drew an 11.5 rating for a 3:30 p.m. ET start and a jaw-dropping 21.04 million viewers.

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