In the food hangover of Thanksgiving, the Minnesota Vikings’ 24-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football looks to have put the beloved Wisconsin team’s playoff dreams to rest. While Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and crew find themselves elevated in the overall NFC standings, the injury-plagued Packers and Aaron Rodgers need a very big Hail Mary pass to have any hope for the postseason at this point.
Now 12 weeks into the season, the contrast between the teams is in many ways a good POV on where the NFL finds itself, as year-to-year ratings continue to rise on the NBC’s flagship pro-football show and elsewhere on broadcast and cable. Better matchups and fewer political protests that had put the intrinsically conservative league and its often heavy-handed owners under the spotlight have served everyone well, keeping ad rates in the healthy column for the nets — meaning touchdown happy dances all around.
Boiled down to a very simple stat and bragging point for NBC, last night marked the 10th time this season that SNF has topped its results of last season, this despite week-to-week ratings in general remaining unsteady. With a 13.2/22 in metered market results, last night’s primetime game was up from both last week and last year.
Compared to the early metrics for the Chicago Bears’ 25-20 win over the Vikings on November 18, last night’s SNF bopped up 7%. Looking over the longer field, the Vikings-Packers game rose 8% in metered markets compared with the Week 12 game between the Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers on November 26, 2017.
That game last season went on to deliver a strong 6.0/20 rating among adults 18-49 and 19 million viewers. The November 18 SNF this year pulled in a 5.8/23 rating in the key demo and an audience of 18.8 million.
Having peaked with a 14.2/23 rating in the 9:30-9:45 PM ET slot in metered market numbers, last night’s primetime-topping SNF is drawing a 5.4/20 rating and 18.3 million viewers in the fast affiliates.
Welcome back to work Hollywood.