UPDATE, THURSDAY AM: The final ratings for last Sunday’s season finale of NBC‘s Sunday Night Football are in: The Cowboys-Redskins game was seen by 30.3 million viewers to become the most-watched and highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on the network. Its viewership was up 10% from last year’s Week 17 game (Cowboys-Giants, 27.62 million), which was also a win-and-in game to determine the winner of the NFC East and the previous most-watched NBC regular-season primetime NFL game. The Cowboys-Redskins game also topped the 28.7 million for the Redskins-Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game on Fox to become the most-watched NFL game on any network this season. It is the most-watched regular-season primetime game on any network in 16 years (Packers-Cowboys, 31.5 million, Nov. 18, 1996 on ABC) and the most-watched NFL primetime regular-season final game in 18 years (32.0 million for 49ers-Vikings, Dec. 26, 1994 on ABC).
PREVIOUS MONDAY AM: NBC’s Sunday Night Football ended its season the way it started it — with a series high. Last night’s season finale, which featured the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins battle it out for the NFC East title, drew an 18.3 overnight rating/30 share, an all-time high for SNF. It was the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game on any network in 15 years, since the Dec. 15, 1997, Broncos-49ers game (19.6/33) on ABC. The Redskins’ march to their first NFC East title in 13 years was up 7% from the corresponding game last year. SNF is wrapping another strong season — its previous series high also was posted this fall, by the Week 1 matchup between the Steelers and Broncos (18.0/29).