Tackling the presidential town hall debate head-on, NBC’s Sunday Night Football posted a season-low 10.2 overnight household rating in the metered markets with the Giants-Packers game last night. That was down 9% from last week’s game, which also was a season low.
But that was not near the all-time low for the SNF franchise, whose ratings are impacted more by blowout games than competition. Its lowest-rated SNF telecasts include the 62-7 Colts-Saints game on October 23, 2011 (8.2 rating), and the 23-0 Colts-Ravens game on December 9, 2007 (9.5).
Still, the ratings for the game clearly were impacted by the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. They peaked at a 12.1 from 8:30-9 PM ET (before the start of the debate), dipped during the presidential face-off and rebounded again to 11.0 from 11-11:30 PM.
Two of the top markets for the game were in battleground states, No. 1 Milwaukee (43.7 rating) and Richmond, VA (13.9).
Like with the shows leading to the first presidential debate, ABC’s Once Upon a Time seems to have benefited from early tune-in, rising 18% in adults 18-49 and 24% in total viewers from last week to a 1.3 in the demo and 4.6 million viewers, drawing its biggest audience and tying its best young-adult number since last November.
Fox’s The Simpsons (1.5) at 8 PM, which did not lead directly into the debate, was down significantly from last week’s NFL-inflated telecast (2.6). The network aired a Son of Zorn repeat at 8:30 PM.
NBC is still projected to win the night in 18-49 and total viewers.