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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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NFL’s Massive Viewership Continues, With or Without Taylor Swift

  • NBC’s Week 5 broadcast averaged 26.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched Week 5 “SNF” game since acquiring the rights in 2006.
  • CBS is averaging 18.3 million viewers per telecast, its best five-week start since the network began broadcasting NFL games again in 1998.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy celebrates with running back Jordan Mason after a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL continues to put up impressive viewership numbers to begin the 2023 campaign — with or without Taylor Swift in attendance.

NBC’s broadcast of the highly anticipated Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers matchup averaged 26.3 million viewers, making it the network’s most-watched Week 5 “Sunday Night Football” game since acquiring the rights in 2006. 

Despite the blowout victory for the Niners, the game still represented a 54% increase from last year’s comparable Week 5 game (16.9 million viewers for Baltimore’s 19-17 win over Cincinnati).

Had it been a closer game, it might have had a chance to surpass the 27 million that tuned in for the Kansas City Chiefs’ Sunday night matchup with the New York Jets in Week 4, aka the “Swift Bowl.” Week 5’s “SNF” actually peaked higher (29.6M) than Week 4’s (29.4M).

Elsewhere in Week 5, CBS averaged 23.1 million viewers for its marquee game between the Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings. 

Both NBC and CBS are off to great starts this season.

“Sunday Night Football” telecasts are averaging 23.8 million viewers through five weeks — the network’s second-best start ever (behind 2015) and a 14% increase from the same period in 2022.

CBS is averaging 18.3 million viewers per telecast, which is its best five-week start to the season since the network began broadcasting NFL games again in 1998. 

Both networks have also reported record streaming numbers on the game and season levels.

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