After taking some hard hits earlier this season, Sunday Night Football seems to have found its stride – at least in the ratings. In a competitively lighter than usual Sunday on the Big 4 and with a massive 40-7 blowout of the Carolina Panthers by the Seattle Seahawks, last night’s edition of the NBC and NFL franchise was practically even with last week and the week before that.
Scoring an 11.5/19 in metered market results, the big win by the Super Bowl XLVIII champs was steady with the early ratings of the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos game of November 27. In fact, with 2.5% dip from last week, last night’s SNF was also pretty steady in MM numbers with the November 20 Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers match-up too – which was down 17% from the week before when the Seahawks pulled off a last minute win over the nationally followed New England Patriots. With the current NFL Season having just wrapped its thirteenth week, this could signal a plateau for the ratings heading towards next year’s Super Bowl.
In unadjusted fast affiliate ratings, last night’s SNF drew a 5.1/15 with 14.76 million viewers. That’s a 12% drop from the fast affiliate results of the November 27 SNF. Last week’s 8:30 PM – 12: 25 AM SNF went on to snag a 6.2/21 demo rating with a total viewership of 18.44 million. As it is right now, with Football Night In America (3.2/10) kicking off the night, NBC tops the night with a 4.4/13 rating and an audience of 13.04 million
On ABC, the big plays of the night were the 9- 11 PM Season 2 finale of Secrets And Lies (0.7/2) and the winter finale of Once Upon A Time (0.9/3). Down 61% among adults 18-49 from its Season 1 ender of May 3, 2015, S&L was even with last week in what has been a disappointing ratings average this cycle on the show, which hasn’t received a Season 3 pick-up as of yet. For OUAT, it was a down a tenth from its November 27 show and seeing a 31% decline from its Season 5 winter finale of December 6 last year, which was pushed back to a 8:16 PM start due to a Presidential address that night. Starting ABC’s night, America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.9/3) was also down a tenth from last week.
Besides a new 60 Minutes (1.5/5), a NFL inflated CBS was all encores on Sunday as the penultimate episode of the first half of the latest season of The Walking Dead and the Season 1 finale of Westworld played out on cable. The news mag show fell 35% from the fast affiliates of last week’s 49-minute NFL overrun primetime. 60 Minutes was adjusted to a 2.8/8 rating in the final numbers
Fox also had the NFL spilling over into primetime last night and hence tentative bumped up numbers for The Simpsons (2.4/7), Son of Zorn (1.3/4), Family Guy (1.6/5) and The Last Man On Earth (1.1/3). Those comedies will likely all see adjustments in the later numbers.