SBD/January 3, 2014/Media

NFL TV Partners See Audience Increases During Regular Season, Including Female Gains

NFL TV partners had strong gains during the ’13 regular season, rebounding from declines seen last season. The gains included record-setting viewership for Fox and NFL Network, as well as CBS seeing the second-best audience for the AFC TV package in 26 years (behind only ’10).

HIGH NOON: Fox concluded its 20th season of NFL regular-season broadcasts with a 12.5 rating and 21.2 million viewers for a combination of singleheader, regional and national broadcast windows -- setting a new viewership record for the net. The 12.5 rating is tied with ’95 as the best on record for the net. Fox’ top four NFL regular-season audience figures have come over the last four seasons. Compared to ’12, Fox was up 6% in ratings and 8% in viewership. The net’s national windows this season averaged a 15.9 rating and 27.2 million viewers, also marking a record for Fox. The previous record was set in ’09 with a 15.5 rating and 26.2 million viewers. Fox' national window audience was up 7% in rating and 10% in viewership compared to ’12. The net also posted gains among all key female viewers, including a tie for its best rating ever among women 18-49 and best figure on record among women 25-54. Meanwhile, CBS posted an 11.1 rating and 18.7 million viewers for its NFL game telecasts, marking the best rating for the AFC package since ’94 and best viewership since at least ’87 (as far back as records go). CBS’ rating was up 4% from last season and up 6% in viewership. The net also saw gains across all female demos in '13.

NIGHTLY NEWS: NBC averaged a 12.8 rating and 21.7 million viewers for its regular-season telecasts, marking the net’s second-best viewership since it acquired the NFL’s broadcast TV primetime package prior to the ’06 season. The rating was flat compared to ’12, but viewership was up 1%. “SNF” ranked as the No. 1 show in primetime for the fourth consecutive fall TV season and is on pace to be the No. 1 show for the entire Sept.-May primetime TV season for the third year in a row. NBC’s NFL telecasts also rank as the 12 most-viewed primetime shows since Sept. 1. “SNF” also ranked No. 1 among women 18-49 during the fall, marking the first time that the NFL primetime package has won the demo. “SNF” topped women 18-34 for the third year in a row and scored its best figure yet among women 25-54. Week 17 for “SNF” featured an NFC East finale involving the Cowboys for the third straight season, and the telecast again was the net’s best audience of the season. From ’06-10, the NBC finale did not feature an NFC East team in Week 17, and those respective telecasts were never NBC’s top audience for the season. New Orleans topped all NBC NFL telecasts with a 23.7 local rating, followed by Denver (22.7) and Richmond (19.5).

NFL REGULAR-SEASON GAME VIEWERSHIP
NETWORK
'13
'12
'11
'10
'09
'08
NBC
21,747
21,463
21,542
21,848
19,418
16,638
Fox
21,200
19,700
20,096
20,110
19,097
16,992
CBS
18,700
17,700
18,400
18,747
17,211
16,211
ESPN
13,679
12,826
13,252
14,657
14,382
11,962
NFL Network
7,055
6,352
6,188
5,705
5,548
3,738
             

CABLE CARS: ESPN was up in ’13 with the third-best “MNF” average since the net acquired the package before the ’06 season. "MNF" also saw double-digit percentage gains among all key female demos, including a 12% jump among women 18-34. NFL Network, which marked its 10th anniversary on air in ‘13, had the highest audience for its package of regular-season games since the net began airing live games in '06. NFL Network also benefitted from an increase among female viewers. The net saw gains among all age demos for women, including a 14% jump among women 18-49 and 17% jump among women 25-54.

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