Now, in a 100th NFL season that has already had some solid results its first few weeks, we see if was exactly what America was looking for from America’s Team and the guys from NOLA.
Clocking in with total audience of 24.7 million over both linear TV and digital platforms, last night’s SNF is the most watched Week 4 airing of NBC’s flagship NFL show ever. With the primetime showing and eyeballs on NBC Sports Digital, and NFL Digital platforms, last night’s season hugh Total Audience Delivery was up 35% over the Week 4 SNF for the 2018/2019 season when the Baltimore Ravens beat Pittsburgh Steelers 24-14.
Pulling in 24.1 million viewers on NBC itself, the Saints’ win beat last week’s Emmys-facing L.A. Rams’ topping SNF by 29% in terms of linear audience.
All said and done, and with the big boys of Dallas on the clearly much watched field, last night’s SNF is turning out to be the most watched regular-season gridiron match-up since December 11, 2016. That’s when the Cowboys faced the big big market New York Giants with a viewership of 26.7 million.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:48 AM: The New Orleans Saints shattered the Dallas Cowboys’ unbeaten run this NFL season despite not scoring a touchdown, winning 12-10 in New Orleans.
Lacking starting quarterback Drew Brees but not the golden-ish field-goal touch of kicker Wil Lutz, the Saints’ Sunday Night Football victory was their first touchdownless victory in 21 years and only the fourth ever in franchise’s 52-year history.
— NFL (@NFL) September 30, 2019
Certainly the Saints dissecting the disintegrating invincibility of the Cowboys was aided by injuries suffered by Dallas, along with an overly predictable playbook and a splintered offense.
Still, it didn’t hurt SNF one bit. The thinking at the Comcast-owned net and the NFL has long been if you put current Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots or, as was the case on NBC last night, the long self-proclaimed “America’s Team” Cowboys in a primetime matchup, the ratings will rise.
Add to that a close game and that certainly was the case on SNF last night. Not facing the record low-rated Emmys like last week, NBC’s flagship football show scored a 15.5/27 in metered market results. Four weeks into the competitive 100th NFL season, that’s a season high for SNF.
On the field of the soon to disappear early metrics, last night’s 8:30-11:15 PM ET game is also up 21% from the September 22 primetime clash between the L.A. Rams and the Cleveland Browns. That 8:23-11 PM game won by the Rams went on to snare a night-winning viewership of 18.6 million with a 6.1/27 rating among adults 18-49, an uptick in both categories from that season’s Week 2 results.
Season-to-season, last night’s low-scoring Saints win in a season that has seen ratings gains overall in its early days, rose 26% from the Week 4 SNF of the last day of September 2018 in metered market results — a season low at the time. That 26-14 victory by the Baltimore Ravens over the Pittsburgh Steelers was finalized with an audience of 18 million and a key demo rating of 6.1/24.
So, all in all, a good night for the Saints and a very good night for NBC and the NFL as the league’s much-hyped 100th season is now well underway.
Seems pretty obviously NBC won the night, but we’ll update with more Sunday Night Football numbers as they come in. Plus we’ll also get the low-down too on how Fox’s Bless the Harts premiered and Celebrity Family Feud ended its most recent season.