NBC looks to have taken Sunday primetime with NFL football and a preview of Carrie Underwood’s new Sunday Night Football theme song, while CBS had the early edge in overall audience, with a slim 20,000-viewer lead over NBC including the night’s most watched program 60 Minutes (7.8M viewers).
But the numbers are murky, owing to the live broadcast across the country of NBC’s SNF preseason game between Cincinnati and Jacksonville, as well as Fox’s primetime overrun of Arizona-Houston. Also siphoning viewers Sunday night: the MTV Video Music Awards, which featured Beyonce’s latest exuberant performance and the maybe-maiden speech of Kanye West’s 2020 presidential race, in which he proclaimed his role models to be Harry Truman, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Steve Jobs – and himself.
NBC’s game play included a two-minute look at Underwood’s singing of the new Sunday football anthem, “Oh, Sunday Night.”
Fox’s football overrun dominated the first two half-hours of primetime in the demo, in the early stats, which will be adjusted later today. At 7 PM, the overrun clocked 1.7 demo rating and 5.5M viewers, to 60 Minutes’ 0.8 and 7.4M viewers. At 7:30 PM, 60 Minutes grew (1.0, 8.3M) while Fox’s football overrun slid (1.2, 3.4M).
CBS’s Big Brother nabbed the next two half-hours in early stats, matching its season high for a Sunday telecast with a steady 2.0 rating in the 18-49 age bracket and 7.1M viewers, which slid to 6.5M in the second half-hour.
NBC’s football took over at 9 PM, topping the rest of primetime in the demo. The game scored its strongest – a 1.9 demo rating – and slipped each half-hour thereafter in the early stats: 1.7, 1.6, and a 1.4. Similar slide occurred in total viewers for the football game, with NBC’s NFL trading the total-viewer top spot with ABC game shows in alternating half-hours. That includes 9 PM’s The $100,000 Pyramid (1.0, 5.5M), and 10:30 PM’s Match Game (0.9, 4.8M).
Opposite the NFL, ABC’s shows were pretty steady week to week, with Celebrity Family Feud off two tenths and even in share (1.0/4 vs. 1.2/4), Pyramid even (1.0/3 vs. 1.0/3) and Match Game exactly even (0.9/3 vs. 0.9/3). Pyramid and Match Game did best among non-sports programming at 9 PM and 10 PM in the demo.
In these early stats, NBC averaged 1.5 demo rating and 5.02M viewers. Fox, which followed football with animated repeats, came in No. 2 in the demo with a 1.0 rating, and 2.8M total viewers. CBS logged 0.9 and 5.04M viewers, and ABC a 0.8 and 4.8M viewers.