The record-breaking The Walking Dead has tackled the once unassailable Sunday Night Football for a loss — again. For a second time in two weeks and a third time in the five weeks, the AMC series has left the NBC and the NFL in the demo dust. Facing a blowout on SNF last night as the Green Bay Packers pummeled the Chicago Bears 55-14, Walking Dead drew a 7.0 rating among its adults 18-49 fans. That 11% better than the 6.2 that SNF received in fast nationals.
Now yes, NBC and the NFL’s numbers will change in the final ratings, but that probably won’t change the outcome. Last week, SNF went from a 6.1 to a 6.6 rating in the key demo — still 13% less than the Walking Dead’s number. When the zombie apocalypse series debuted its fifth season on October 12, it pulled in an 8.7 result in the demo; SNF was far behind with a 6.6 in its final national number. This season is starting to look likeWD is a big-market winning team that plays every week in the big show.
Hard numbers to hard numbers, Walking Dead had 8.82 million watching among the 18-49s in its 9 PM slot. Sunday Night Football had 7.9 million tuning in from the demo for its primetime airing. Hour-to-hour, last night’s game had a 6.6 rating in the demo with nearly 8.4 million watching among adults 18-49 in the 9 PM slot. Comparing total viewers, Walking Dead had 13.53 million tuning in last night to the 17.30 million who watched the SNF game that started at 8:30 PM.
Last night’s Walking Dead win is a record of a sort when it comes to SNF. In the first part of its fourth season, the AMC series managed to beat the network powerhouse show twice to be the top show overall on both cable and broadcast. Those October 27 and November 3, 2013 victories were a big Goliath-slaying deal — and now oneWD has already eclipsed this season.
There are still three more episodes of Walking Dead to go before it ends for the year with a midseason finale. That’s three more matchups with the NFL. When the AMC series returns February 22, football will be over with Super Bowl XLIX on February 1.