Extra, extra, read all about it! People love to watch NFL games. This is not news, of course, we all know this. But the extent to which America loves the NFL is even more staggering than you think. Here are some facts about the NFL’s television year-round dominance, not just at the Super Bowl.
1. The top 12 shows of the 2015 fall season have all been NFL games, led by the 29.4 million viewers who tuned in for the Seattle-Dallas game on Nov. 1. In all, 26 of the top 27 programs were professional football games, with only the first Republican primary debate interrupting the dominance with an appearance at No. 13.
2. This is nothing new. Usually, the fall season is completely dominated by the NFL (the No. 28 and No. 29 shows right now — the seasons premiers of The Big Bang Theory and NCIS, respectively, will be long gone by the time the season ends). Usually, only one other program — the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — cracks the top 30 of fall television. With the Donald Trump-led debate anomaly this year, there should be two non-NFL shows in the top 30 by New Year’s Eve, a veritable bonanza for non-NFL programming.
3. In 2015, the top 20 and 45 of the 50 most-watched shows of the fall season were NFL games. Sunday Night Football was the No. 1 show in all 17 weeks of primetime.
4. Everyone assumes primetime is king, but the biggest ratings are actually for the 4:25 p.m. ET games that alternate weekly between CBS and Fox. (You’d think baseball would see this and have a daytime, weekend World Series game for a change.)
Average viewers per telecast:
Fox (late afternoon) — 26.8 million
CBS (late afternoon) — 24.1 million
Sunday Night Football (NBC)– 23.7 million
Thursday Night Football (CBS/NFLN) — 17.6 million
1 p.m. games on Fox and CBS — 16.3 million
Monday Night Football (ESPN) — 13.0 million
(The CBS and Fox ratings are averaged from their respective doubleheader games through Week 10, via ratings from various sources, including sportsmediawatch.com.)
5. This year’s Week 1 had the most overall viewers for any opening week in NFL history.
6. In most weeks, the No. 1 television show in the NFL’s TV markets is that week’s NFL game. (It happened in Week 8, among many others.) When the NFL game isn’t at the top, it tends to be because a college game has leapfrogged it for a week.
7. Last week’s Browns-Bengals game was the first Thursday game to solely appear this season on NFL Network. Even that dog of a game did a good number, scoring 8.8 million viewers, the seventh most in the history of the network. But, as Sports Media Watch points out, that was the second-worst viewership of the season for any NFL game, with the 8.4 million who watched the early London game in Week 8 between the Lions and Chiefs. (That doesn’t include the Yahoo! game, which had numbers that were likely anemic when compared to broadcast games — don’t believe the spin.)
8. It’s been a steady climb for SNF. When it started in 2006, it ranked 9th, with American Idol at No. 1. SNF kept climbing until 2011, when it was the No. 1 show on all of television.
9. But then there are some oddities: Last week, for instance, the NFL’s primetime shows (Thursday/Sunday/Monday) were 17th, 1st and 8th in total viewers. (That doesn’t include the Fox or CBS game.)
10. This week’s Monday Night Football game — Bears-Chargers — had a season-low 11.4 million viewers, but that still would have ranked 13th for the week. However, that aforementioned Thursday game — the one with 8.8 million viewers — had the same amount of eyes on it as Survivor, a reality show that’s been around for 15 years and 31 seasons. (BTW, Survivor still rules. I know most people don’t realize it’s still on, but it’s a great show that’s more like sports than you’d ever imagine. I can’t recommend it more highly.)
To read 11-17 visit the USA Today which is where this article was originally published