Struggling to gain ratings traction this season amidst political protests, Sunday Night Football went for a big-play performance of sorts last night as the New England Patriots took on the Denver Broncos.
Simply put, with neither team kneeling during the national anthem, the primetime Week 10 NFL game on NBC saw the current Super Bowl champs decimate the host Mile High City team 41-16. In stark contrast to the Patriots’ performance of almost a year ago when Robert Kraft-owned team lost on SNF to the Seattle Seahawks on Week 10 of the 2016-2017 season, last night was one success after another.
In fact, last night’s game was a lot more like the last time the Patriots were on SNF this season. That foggy October 22 matchup with the Falcons saw the Patriots win 23-7 and the numbers go up for the NBC NFL flagship show.
Last night’s controversy-free but certainly singing challenged Sunday Night Football scored an 11.5/19 in metered market results.
Looking over its shoulder to last week’s near season low, last night’s game was up almost 20% in the early numbers. That result certainly seems to prove again that the big-draw Patriots, like the Dallas Cowboys, can almost always complete the Hail Mary for the seemingly fractured league and the network.
November 5’s close Oakland Raiders victory over the Miami Dolphins, from 8:30-11:15 PM ET, went on to snare a 4.9/17 among adults 18-49 and 16.36 million viewers in the end.
As on-field tributes were paid throughout the league on Veterans Day, the ratings contrast was not quite so winning, however, compared with last year’s New England-Seattle battle. Last night’s game was down 20% in MM numbers from the November 13, 2016 face-off between the Patriots and the Seahawks. To focus the contrast even more, that near season high game saw the latter win 31-24 and SNF face off against a winning Donald Trump’s first post-election sitdown on 60 Minutes.
Eventually, once the all the numbers were in, last year’s Week 10 NFL game ended with 22.5 million viewers. That game topped the night, the week and earned the distinction of being the most-watched Week 10 NFL primetime game in the previous 18 years.
With the knowledge SNF was up against a loss-drenched The Walking Dead, here’s a couple more stats for you. First, last night’s Patriots’ game was down 9% in metered market ratings from when the team beat the Falcons back on October 22. Secondly, the Patriots-Broncos last night peaked with a 13.4/21 in MM numbers from 9-9:30 pm ET.
In the fast affiliates SNF caught a 5.0/17 rating among adults 18-49 and 15.33 million total viewers. In the key demo in the non-adjusted numbers, that’s a 25% rise over last week’s season low. All of which makes it pretty clear that NBC are easily winning the night with what is right now a 4.3/15 rating and total audience of 13.24 million.
As I mentioned before, football was all over the dial on Sunday with CBS and Fox also packing in games. As has become pretty standard over the weeks when they have NFL on in the afternoon, the House of Moonves had to push back its primetime in several East Coast and Central markets on Sunday.
With a 15-minute delay, the net had a full slate of 60 Minutes (1.2/5), Wisdom of the Crowd (0.8/3) NCIS: Los Angeles (0.9/3) and Madam Secretary (0.6/2). The new mag show was down 50% from the fast affiliates of November 5 while the Jeremy Piven starrer took a 27% tumble. NCIS: LA and the Tea Leoni led series were even with last week.
On Fox, The Simpsons (1.9/7) and Ghosted (1.3/4) got pumped up 46% and 30% respectively to some very nice numbers. At 9 PM, Family Guy (1.4/5) rose 40% over last week’s fast affiliates and The Last Man On Earth (0.9/3) went up a tenth.
No NFL on ABC on Sunday, though sister outlet ESPN will have Monday Night Football tonight, but there were upticks anyway. The Toy Box (0.5/2), America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.0/4) and a 10 PM Shark Tank (0.9/3) were all up a tenth over last week. The 9 PM Shark Tank (0.9/3) was the same as last week.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.