(UPDATED WITH NFL NUMBERS) With a predictable night of winners at the low-drama 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on CBS and a high-stakes battle between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs over on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, we all thought we knew how this was going to end.
But, as almost always, the devil is in the details: Turns out TV’s biggest night this year has escaped becoming its own level of hell for the ViacomCBS-owned network.
Coming in at just over three hours and with a Brit boatload of wins for Season 4 of The Crown and Season 1 of Ted Lasso, the Cedric the Entertainer-hosted Emmys snagged 7.4 million viewers on Sunday, according to Nielsen.
Now, the 2021 Emmys still are down a hard 34% in terms of sets of eyeballs from the last time CBS hosted the ceremony back in the first year of Donald Trump’s reign of error in 2017. It should almost be noted that the 7.4 million number is just for linear TV. No out-of-home or Paramount+ streaming data has been released yet, though I hear the latter was strong-ish.
Also, when you do the math, Sunday night’s Emmys hold the distinction of being the third-least-watched ever behind 2020 and 2019. Held on a Monday on NBC, the 2018 Emmys pulled in 10.2 million, a low at the time.
Still, facing the tens of millions who tuned in for SNF’s thrilling Ravens win over the Chiefs and with no overrun bounce from the afternoon NFL game on CBS, up is a win by any measure for the Emmys. Even more so in an era where awards shows have been falling to near life-support levels year after year.
However, if the Emmys had a good night, the NFL and NBC had a much better night.
Like the Emmys, SNF was up double digits and having one of its best weeks since 2018.
Unlike the Emmys, the Ravens and Chiefs’ 36 -35 gridiron skirmish was very well watched with 20.2 million tuning into NBCs flagship NFL show last night.
That viewership is an almost 15% rise over last week’s SNF season kickoff match. When you factor in the Total Audience Delivery of the linear network, plus NBC and NFL digital platforms, the eyeballs go up to 20.8 million. A result that is the most watched Week 2 SNF outcome in three years and 13% better than last year’s comparable game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
And that’s a big ticket clear primetime win for NBC, period.
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