There was history made on television last night and we don’t mean more record-breaking The Walking Dead ratings — at least not yet. No, it was the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning throwing his 509th touchdown to break the NFL record set by Brett Favre and becoming the TD King on Sunday Night Football. Even with the Broncos’ blowout 42-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers, NBC and the NFL have to be happier than they were last Sunday. Last night’s game from 8:30-11:30 PM ET got a 14.8/24 overnight rating, up a whooping 27% from the SNF season low of last week’s Philadelphia Eagles’ 27-0 decimation of the NY Giants.
Last night’s result is also the best the sometimes stumbling SNF has done since the 15.1/25 result in metered-market ratings of its September 7 season debut. It should be noted that Manning also played in that game and hit another career benchmark with the Broncos’ win over the Indianapolis Colts — that he had beaten all 32 NFL teams.
While we wait for last night’s Week 2 numbers for Walking Dead, NBC and the NFL are probably feeling pretty good against the AMC zombie apocalypse series right now. While it wasn’t head-to-head, SNF peaked in the 9:30 PM ET half hour with a 17.0/25, just when Manning threw that NFL-record 509th career touchdown pass. Last week the Season 5 debut of The Walking Dead beat NBC, the NFL and everything else on Sunday night TV with all-time high viewership and adults 18-49 numbers — though that shutout probably didn’t help.
Here are the top 5 markets for last night’s SNF: No. 1 is unsurprisingly Denver (47.1/68), followed by Sacramento (26.8/42), San Francisco (26.1/46), Las Vegas (20.5/31), and Phoenix (20.4/33).