SBD/October 7, 2011/Media

NFL National TV Partners Seeing Mixed Bag For Ratings/Viewership Through Week Four

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The NFL’s national TV partners are seeing a mixed bag for game ratings/viewership through the first four weeks of the season. Fox is off to a record start with their Sunday NFC package. The 12.2 rating and 20.4 million viewers mark the net’s highest-rated and most-viewed start to an NFL season. Those figures are up 9% and 4%, respectively, from last year, and up 4% and 14% from ’09. Fox also turned in its most-viewed NFL singleheader since ’95 last week (14.0 rating, 23.3 million viewers), which also marked the league’s highest-rated singleheader since ’98. “Fox NFL Sunday” is averaging a 3.6 rating and 5.6 million viewers, marking the pregame show’s highest-rated and most-viewed mark through four weeks since ’01. NBC is also seeing a small gain to start the season, averaging a 13.9 rating and 23.2 million viewers through four weeks (five telecasts), up 1% in both metrics compared to last year. Compared to the start in ’09, NBC is up 2% and 12%, respectively. “SNF” has also won the night for each of its four Sunday telecasts to date. CBS is off to a slower start in ’11, without traditional ratings draw Peyton Manning fueling the numbers. The net is averaging a 10.5 rating and 17.4 million viewers, down 7% in both metrics compared to ’10, when CBS was off to its best four-week average since gaining the AFC TV package in '98. Despite the slow start, the ‘11 figures remain well above the net’s start to ’09 (+11% in viewership). CBS’ “The NFL Today” pregame show is also down 7% to start the season (2.9 vs. 3.1). ESPN’s ‘MNF” is off to a slow start for the second straight season. The net’s 8.3 U.S. rating and 13.1 million viewers are down 11% for both metrics compared to ’10, and down 15% and 16% compared to ’09.
NFL GAME VIEWERSHIP THROUGH WEEK FOUR
NET
'11 (000)
'10 (000)
1-YR % +/-
'09 (000)
2-YR % +/-
NBC
23,168
22,853
1%
20,756
12%
Fox
20,400
19,677
4%
17,916
14%
CBS
17,400
18,699
-7%
15,671
11%
ESPN
13,100
14,786
-11%
15,684
-16%
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Media, NFL, ESPN, Fox, CBS, NBC

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