SBD/November 1, 2013/Media

Majority Of NFL TV Partners Seeing Gains Through Week 8; ESPN Off Slightly

A majority of NFL TV partners are seeing audience gains for game coverage through the halfway point of the season. NBC’s games have averaged a 13.1 rating and 22.1 million viewers, marking the best average for an NFL primetime package through eight weeks in 17 years -- dating back to 23.9 million viewers in ’96 for ABC’s “MNF” coverage. “SNF” continues to be the most-watched primetime show on all of TV. The net was able to benefit from having one less day of MLB competition this year. Week 7’s Broncos-Colts game had no MLB game up against it, while last year’s Week 7 game (Steelers-Bengals) had NLCS Game 6. “SNF” also has now topped World Series Game 4s three times in four years. Meanwhile, ESPN is the only NFL TV partner seeing a decline this season to date. “MNF” games are averaging an 8.3 rating and 13.1 million viewers, off 1% for both metrics from ’12. NFL Network is maintaining its record-breaking audience figures through the first half of the season (excludes the special Sunday night game on Oct. 6). The net’s 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers is on pace to supplant last season’s record-setting averages.

AFTERNOON DELIGHT: Fox is averaging a 12.5 rating and 20.9 million viewers for its Sunday afternoon telecasts, putting the net on pace for its best NFL season on record. The net’s audience is up 23% from five years ago, up 26% from 10 years ago and up 29% from 15 years ago. CBS also is seeing gains for NFL coverage. The 10.7 rating and 17.6 million viewers mark CBS' second-best audience through eight weeks since the NFL returned to the net in '98 (behind only '10).

NFL GAME VIEWERSHIP THROUGH WEEK 8
NET
'13 (000)
'12 (000)
'11 (000)
'10 (000)
'09 (000)
'08 (000)
NBC*
22,097
21,165
21,262
21,527
19,117
15,881
Fox
20,900
19,200
19,800
19,000
19,452
16,728
CBS
17,648
16,700
17,265
18,034
15,864
15,296
ESPN
13,075
13,145
12,771
14,626
14,421
12,194
NFLN**
7,332
6,827
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a

NOTES: * = Includes NFL Kickoff, which aired on a Wednesday in '12 to accommodate the DNC. The '08 NFL Kickoff started at 7:00pm ET on a Thursday night to accommodate coverage of the RNC. ** = Average for NFL Net in '13 does not include the Oct. 6 Chargers-Raiders game, which was moved at the last moment from CBS to NFLN due to MLB scheduling issues. NFL Net is averaging 6.755 million viewers with that game included.
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