With President Barack Obama speaking to the nation at 8 PM ET from the Oval Office last night, almost all of Sunday’s primetime saw programming shuffles. The Commander-In-Chief’s speech on the San Bernardino shootings of last week and the threats of global terror ran approximately 16 minutes, pushing everything back on ABC and Fox, and cutting into what already was on CBS.
However, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, everything went according to schedule with kickoff at its usual 8:30 PM ET. While Obama went for a big audience for his third Oval Office address since taking office in January 2009, things went downward for SNF. In metered market ratings, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 45-10 demolition of the Indianapolis Colts drew a 12.2/19 result. While not a season low, the 8:30-11:15 PM blowout wasn’t far off,down 25% from last week’s game, which saw the Denver Broncos knock off the previously undefeated New England Patriots. Still, even with an Obama lead-in, there is little doubt NBC will win the night in total viewership and among adults 18-49 – especially with no The Walking Dead on for the rest of the year. As it stands now, in non-adjusted numbers, NBC has a 4.8/14 rating with 18.72 million viewers.
In those fast nationals, last night’s game snared a 6.0/18 rating with 16.97 million viewers. In the key demo, that’s a fall of 29% from last week’s final numbers. Fast nationals-to-fast nationals, the Steelers-Colts game was down 23% from the Broncos-Patriots matchup. Last week’s game had a preliminary viewership of 22.87 million that went up to 25.19 million in the later numbers.
Even without the President’s speech, CBS’ night was already delayed nearly 15 minutes because of late-running NFL games in parts of the country, meaning ratings for both 60 Minutes (1.2/3) and the 60 Minutes special (1.3/4) that ran after Obama’s address are tentative. As for the big show on CBS’ night, the 9-11 PM star-studded Sinatra 100: An All Star Grammy Salute (0.8/2) hosted by Seth MacFarlane hit a bit of a low note. While the tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes may have been up 15% in viewership from the February 16 Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life – An All Star Grammy Salute to an audience of 8.74 million, it took a demo hit. The third of CBS’ such Grammy specials, and the first before the actual awards, last night’s Sinatra 100 was down 27% among the 18-49s, the worst such specials have done.
ABC’s and Fox’s numbers are tentative too, even more so with the latter net having NFL overruns. On at 7 PM on ABC, America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.7/3) was down 30% from its November 29 episode.