SBD/November 16, 2012/Media

NFL Broadcast Partners Down Slightly Through Week 10, But Games Still Tops On TV

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NFL broadcast partners are seeing a dip in their audience numbers through Week 10 this season compared to the same point last year. However, NFL games still remain the most-watched programs on TV, with game telecasts ranking as the 16 most-viewed shows on all of TV since Labor Day.

PRIMETIME: Both NBC and ESPN’s primetime telecasts are down slightly, dipping 1% from last year. Despite NBC's dip, "SNF" remains the No. 1 show on all of primetime TV with a 12.8 rating and 21.2 million viewers. The show is also tops among viewers and all key adult and male demos. The program also ranks strong among kids 2-11 and teens 12-17. “SNF” ranks No. 4 among women 18-34 and No. 6 among women 18-49. Last season, “SNF” became the first sports program to rank No. 1 in primetime. While “SNF” is down year-over-year, the strong audience has helped NBC to a lead among all nets in adults 18-49, marking the first time the net has ranked No. 1 outright in the demo at this point in the TV season since ’02. Meanwhile, ESPN’s “MNF” package is averaging an 8.4 rating and 13.1 million viewers. The program remains the No. 1 program on all of cable and has ranked No. 1 each week since the season began. NFL Network is in the first season of its extended schedule (13 games in ‘12 vs. eight games from ’06-11). The net is averaging a 4.1 rating and 6.4 million viewers, putting it on pace for its best season of games yet.

DAYTIME: Sunday afternoon game telecasts also are down through Week 10. Fox is averaging an 11.6 rating and 19.1 million viewers, down 3% and 4%, respectively. The net's five national windows have averaged a 14.7 rating and 24.6 million viewers, down 6% in both metrics. Meanwhile, CBS is averaging a 10.4 rating and 16.9 million viewers for its game telecasts, down 1% and 2%, respectively, from the same point last year. The net's national windows are averaging a 14.0 rating and 23.1 million viewers.

NFL GAME VIEWERSHIP THROUGH WEEK 10
NET
'12 (000)
'11 (000)
NBC*
21,191
21,315
Fox
19,100
19,900
CBS
16,949
13,265
ESPN
13,091
13,265
NFLN
6,441
n/a

CHART NOTE: * = NBC figures include the annual NFL Kickoff, which aired on a Wednesday night this year to accommodate the Democratic National Convention.

PREGAME: NBC’s “Football Night in America” leads all pregame/highlight shows to date with a 4.7 rating and 7.6 million viewers from 7:30-8:15pm ET. However, those figures are down 13% and 15%, respectively, from record-setting numbers last year. The show has been negatively affected with many NFL Sunday afternoon national windows running later than in recent years, often finishing closer to 8:00pm. NFL Network has good numbers for its 30-minute “Pre-Kick” on Thursday nights. The show has consistently ranked among the top 40 shows on cable each week. Meanwhile, "Fox NFL Sunday" is averaging a 3.0 rating and 4.5 million viewers, down 14% and 15%, respectively. CBS' "The NFL Today" is flat through Week 10 at a 2.3 rating. On ESPN, the net's "Sunday NFL Countdown" is averaging 2.1 million viewers, down from 2.3 million at the same point last year. The net's "Monday Night Countdown" is averaging 2.6 million viewers, flat compared to '11.
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