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Volume 26 No. 207
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Cowboys-Patriots Is Most-Viewed NFL Game This Season

Fox averaged 29.5 million viewers for its Sunday national window in Week 12, which featured Cowboys-Patriots in 99% of markets. That is easily the best NFL audience for the ’19 season to date and the best for any regular-season game since Redskins-Cowboys on Thanksgiving last year (30.5 million). Cowboys-Patriots passes CBS’ Patriots-Eagles on Nov. 17 (24.9 million viewers) for the best audience this season. Cowboys-Patriots also is the best figure for any Sunday afternoon NFL regular-season telecast since CBS drew 30.9 million for Patriots-Packers on Nov. 30, 2014. Fox also picked up another 563,996 viewers on streaming platforms for Cowboys-Patriots on Sunday, marking the best NFL Sunday audience yet on Fox digital platforms (first time over 500,000 for average minute audience as well). Meanwhile, NBC drew 20.8 million viewers for Packers-49ers, marking the best Week 12 “SNF” audience since Patriots-Broncos in ’15 (25.2 million). With streaming included, NBC averaged 21.3 million viewers for "SNF" this season (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

MOST-WATCHED NFL GAMES FOR '19 SEASON THROUGH WEEK 12
FEATURED GAME
DATE
NETWORK
VIEWERS (000)
Cowboys-Patriots
11/22
Fox
29,471
Patriots-Eagles
11/17
CBS
24,889
Packers-Cowboys
10/6
Fox
24,595
Cowboys-Saints
9/29
NBC
24,108
Giants-Cowboys
9/8
Fox
23,904
Saints-Rams
9/15
Fox
23,336
Panthers-Packers
11/10
Fox
23,196
Saints-Bears
10/20
Fox
23,036
Vikings-Cowboys
11/10
NBC
22,988
Saints-Seahawks
9/22
CBS
22,463
Download the
Top NFL Games For 2019 Season

IN HIS ELEMENT: SI.com's Jimmy Traina wrote with Fox on Sunday "getting the rare opportunity to air a Patriots game, the network jammed" Rob Gronkowski into its "already crowded desk of analysts and relied on him for his expertise on all things New England." Gronkowski in a studio analyst role "worked," and it "worked simply because Gronk was Gronk." Traina: "He's different. There is nothing like him on any other studio show." There also is a "connection NFL fans have with Gronk that they don't have with any other studio analyst because he just retired and because he's a big, lovable goofball" (SI.com, 11/25).

YIN & YANG: In Buffalo, Alan Pergament writes listening to CBS play-by-play man Kevin Harlan is "like being next to an enthusiastic conversational guy sitting next to you at a corner bar." Harlan was on the call for Broncos-Bills on Sunday, and his "excitement level and enthusiasm made a relatively dull, defensive-oriented game seem exciting." Analyst Rich Gannon is the "perfect balance to Harlan." He is as "low-key as Harlan is exciting" (BUFFALO NEWS, 11/26). 

LOOKING LOCAL: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal reports the Bears' victory over the Giants on Sunday was the team's "highest-rated noon game this season." The broadcast on WFLD-Fox "averaged a 26.0 household rating," which is "tied for sixth among all 11 Bears games so far" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/26).