A mid season look at the power of the NFL

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Anyone who may doubt the power of the NFL need only look at the ratings that the league is getting across the board and the numbers are impressive. Every network that televises NFL games has seen ratings increases this year at the half way point. Here is a look inside the numbers at the mid season mark.

Fans have made the 2011 NFL season must-see TV for good reason…they have been captivated by the fantastic finishes.  In Week 9, all five 4:00 PM ET games, the Sunday night game and the Monday night game were all within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter – putting the NFL on an active seven-game streak of fantastic finishes.  For the season, more than two thirds of games (90 of 130) have been one-score games in the fourth quarter.

The average NFL game telecast (including broadcast and cable) has drawn 17.9 million viewers – more than double the average primetime viewership (8.4 million) for the big four broadcast networks in the new television season, according to information provided by The Nielsen Company. In addition, NFL games account for 13 of the 15 most-watched programs on television since the NFL season kicked off on Sept. 8 (chart below).

Following are some fast facts at midseason

·         NFL games account for 19 of the 20 most-watched programs on television (since Sept. 8) among adults aged 18-49 – with each of the broadcast networks televising NFL games represented on that list. 

·         An NFL game telecast has been television’s most-watched program in seven of the nine weeks of the NFL season. 

·         ESPN Monday Night Football games rank as the eight most-watched shows on cable this fall. 

·         NBC’s Sunday Night Football is averaging a record 21.4 million viewers through Week 9 and ranks as the No. 1 show in primetime this television season in the key Adult 18-49 demographic. NBC’s Sunday Night Football opener (Cowboys-Jets on Sept. 11) was the most-watched SNF game ever with 25.8 million viewers. 

·         FOX is averaging 20.0 million viewers* – on pace for its most-watched season ever. The Oct. 16 FOX national telecast (mostly Cowboys-Patriots) is the most-watched sporting event since Super Bowl XLV with an average of 28.4 million viewers. 

·         CBS is averaging 17.1 million viewers* – the network’s second most-watched season since it began televising the AFC package in 1998. 

·         NFL Network viewership is up 21 percent in primetime and up 17 percent for its Sunday programming. 

·         On NFL.com, fans have accessed more than twice as much video than last year at this point with page views increasing 64 percent. 

(*NOTE: Final CBS and FOX numbers will be available Thursday when the Sunday Nov. 6 regional/single game numbers are released. Estimates for those telecasts are included in the above averages.) 

Following are the most-watched programs on television since the beginning of the NFL season: 

Program

Viewers

1. CBS’ Two and a Half Men (Season Premiere), 9/19     

28.7 million

2. FOX Sunday National (mostly Cowboys-Patriots), 10/16

28.4 million

3. FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-Patriots), 11/6

28.2 million

4. NBC Thursday Night Kickoff Game (Saints-Packers), 9/8

27.1 million

5. FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-Redskins), 9/11

25.8 million

6. NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Jets), 9/11

25.8 million

7. FOX World Series Game 7 (Rangers-Cardinals), 10/28

25.4 million

8. CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Steelers), 10/30

24.6 million

9. FOX Sunday National (mostly Packers-Vikings), 10/23

24.3 million

10. FOX Sunday National (mostly Packers-Bears), 9/25

24.0 million

11. NBC Sunday Night Football (Eagles-Falcons),9/18

23.4 million

12. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Lions-Cowboys), 10/2

23.3 million

13. CBS Sunday National (mostly Packers-Broncos), 10/2

23.0 million

14. NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Eagles), 10/30

23.0 million

15. CBS Sunday National (mostly Chargers-Patriots), 9/18

22.7 million

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company

 

This entry was posted in Media Watchdog by Jim Williams. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jim Williams

Jim Williams
Jim is a sports media columnist for Examiner Newspapers in Washington, DC and France 24. He is also an Emmy and Ace award winning TV producer, director and writer. You can hear Jim Monday and Friday at 7:25AM on the Morning Show heard on Team 990AM in Montreal.  Jim loves...more

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