Thursday September 28, 2023

‘Sunday Night Football’ Reigns As TV’s No. 1 Show For 11th Straight Year

  • NBC’s primetime game averaged 19.3 million viewers across linear/digital channels.
  • Doubled TV viewership of Kevin Costner’s “Yellowstone.”
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The NFL continues to separate itself as the most popular and powerful property in all entertainment.

NBC Sports’ “Sunday Night Football” is wrapping the TV season as primetime’s most-watched TV show for a record 11th straight year.

As the NFL’s top primetime package, SNF annually gets a strong game schedule – along with the ability to “flex” out unattractive matchups late in the season. The strategy has worked well.

SNF averaged a total audience delivery of 19.3 million viewers across linear and digital platforms for the 2021-22 TV season, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

The TV-only audience for SNF’s slate of regular-season NFL games averaged 18.5 million viewers.

To put that in perspective, Fox Sports’ coverage of the 2021 World Series averaged 11.75 million viewers, while ABC’s averaged 9.9 million viewers for the 2021 NBA Finals.

SNF also ranked No. 1 among the advertiser-coveted 18-49 audience for the 12th consecutive year. And for the first time, SNF’s more than doubled viewership of TV’s top scripted show, Kevin Costner’s “Yellowstone,” which averaged 8.9 million viewers across multiple networks.

Since 1950, a number of TV shows like “American Idol” have become viewing phenomena with the American public. But SNFs primetime dominance puts them all in the rearview. 

Here’s the list of popular primetime shows that have ranked No. 1 consecutive years:

  • SNF/NBC (11 years).
  • American Idol/Fox (6 years).
  • Cheers/NBC; The Cosby Show/NBC; All in the Family/CBS (5 years).
  • Gunsmoke/CBS (4 years).

SNF’s new announce team of Cris Collinsworth, Mike Tirico and Melissa Stark will return for “NFL Kickoff 2022” on Sep. 8. 

Tirico will succeed Al Michaels as play-by-play announcer after Michaels’ move to Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football.”

Stark is taking over from longtime sideline reporter Michele Tafoya. Maria Taylor will succeed Tirico as the first female host of the “Football Night in America” pregame show.

“We look forward to continuing that legacy of excellence as we kick off another eagerly-anticipated Sunday Night Football schedule beginning in September,” said Pete Bevacqua, chairman of NBC Sports in a statement. 

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