UPDATE, 1:30 PM: They don’t call then America’s Team for nothing. Proving again that if you put the Dallas Cowboys on the field for a Big 4 broadcast game you will get big results, the NFL and NBC scored a viewership touchdown last night on Sunday Night Football.
Pulling in 21.5 million viewers on the Comcast-owned net, the Cowboys’ 37-10 blowout of the Philadelphia Eagles is the second best SNF audience result this season. The most watched SNF so far was the 24.1 million who tuned in for the New Orleans Saints-Cowboys game September 30 that saw Dallas’ unbeaten streak snapped.
That Cowboys-Saints game actually ended up with a total viewership of 24.7 million over linear TV and digital platforms to become the most watched Week 4 airing of NBC’s flagship NFL show ever. When you pull all the other NBC and NFL digital platforms together, this week’s SNF had a total audience of 22 million – the best any Week 7 SNF has done since 2015.
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Now, because there is nothing networks, sport leagues and sports fans love more that stats, here’s some history for you: The victory at home for Dallas last night was the eighth battle between the Cowboys and Eagles over the last nine seasons to snare more than 20 million viewers. Also, the game is up an impressive (digital or not) 99% in Average Minute Audience for Sunday night’s live stream over last year’s Week 7 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals. As a result, last night’s SNF was the third most consumed SNF regular-season authenticated game on record.
Capping the stats, SNF is currently up 4% in overall eyeballs over where it was last season at this time with an average of 20.4 million viewers.
Beat that World Series.
PREVIOUSLY, 9:21 AM: With a tornado whipping through North Texas on Sunday, the weather was not kind to Dallas. However, a big division win for the Cowboys at home may have kept some locals’ minds on other matters, if you know what I mean?
You could deploy a cliché like the hometown Cowboys clipped the Philadelphia Eagles’ wings on Sunday Night Football, but that would be an understatement — for both the game and the soaring ratings for the NFL and NBC. Quarterback Dak Prescott saw his opportunities and took them repeatedly in primetime and Ezekiel Elliot ripped past the Eagles’ defense like it was a wet paper bag in what ended long before it ended with a 37-10 result.
Or as the Cowboys themselves put it:
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 21, 2019
Coming off a SNF season low in the fast affiliates last week, this week’s 8:30 PM ET-starting game snagged a 5.8 among adults 18-49 and 18.8 million viewers. A great number for a blowout and exactly what the network and the league wanted from America’s team. While not a SNF season high – that trophy goes to the Cowboy’s loss to the New Orleans Saints on September 29 – last night was a strong second place in a 100th NFL season that has been full of peaks, valleys and strong winds.
Compared to last week’s Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Los Angeles Chargers, last night’s SNF was up a whopping 49% in the key demo in the early numbers. Viewershipwise, Dallas’ victory walloped the Steelers’ win by 50%. Last week’s SNF ended up with a respectable enough 4.6/20 in the 18-49s and an audience of 14.9 million.
Looking back to the NFL’s 99th season of last year, the comparable Kansas City Chiefs’ solid beating of the Cincinnati Bengals on October 21, 2018 was no real contender to last night. The Cowboys’ win beat that SNF by 29% in viewers and 26% among adults 18-49 in the unadjusted numbers.
That Chiefs-Bengals game shifted up to a 5.1/21 and 16.02 million viewers in the final numbers. Clearly a comparison that last night’s SNF will blow out of the water once its numbers are adjusted.
Elsewhere on the dial, Sunday night saw a handful of slips and dips as the CW’s Supergirl came across some kryptonite, down one-tenth from last week (0.2 rating in adults 18-49, 900,000 viewers). The same went for Madam Secretary (0.4, 4.51 million) over at CBS, where the drama God Friended Me (0.6, 6.45M) took a major hit as it was down three tenths from last week. On ABC, Kids Say the Darndest Things (0.6, 4.18M) was at a loss for words as it stumbled two tenths.
Fox’s animation block saw a boost when it came to fast affiliate numbers, with The Simpsons (2.1, 5.67M) getting a massive uptick from last week. The freshman series Bless the Harts (1.1, 2.88M) also received love from audiences with a five-tenths increase, while Bob’s Burgers (1.1, 2.53M) and Family Guy (1.2, 2.63M) had their own gains to be happy about.
At the CW, Batwoman (0.3, 1.23M) managed to stay steady on its third week out, and it was the same story for ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.7, 5.00M), Shark Tank (0.6, 3.29M) and The Rookie (0.6, 3.81M). At CBS, 60 Minutes saw a significant drop (0.8, 8.07M), while NCIS: Los Angeles (0.7, 6.30M) ticked down.
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