NBC has best NFL kickoff weekend ever; Bears-Packers most watched SNF opener since “Manning Bowl”

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via NBC:

NBC SPORTS DELIVERS BEST PRIMETIME NFL KICKOFF WEEKEND EVER

SNF Bears-Packers Most Watched SNF Opener Since “Manning Bowl”

Delivers Best Sunday Primetime Performance Since Academy Awards; Beats Combined Competition

NEW YORK – Sept. 15, 2009 – NBC Sports’ two NFL Kickoff Weekend games were most watched since the creation of the NFL Kickoff Weekend, highlighted by the “Sunday Night Football” season opener (Bears-Packers) which was the most watched season opening SNF game since the much-hyped “Manning Bowl” (Colts-Giants) game in the 2006 SNF opener, according to final national data provided by Nielsen Media Research.

The two-game average audience for the Thursday night NFL Kickoff (Steelers-Titans) and the opening SNF game is 21.0 million viewers, a gain of 32 percent over 2008 (15.9 million), 17 percent over 2007 (18.0 million) and one percent over 2006 (20.9 million).

NFL KICKOFF WEEKEND SINCE 2002
*Primetime two game average viewership
(Thurs./Sun. on NBC; Thurs/Mon. on ABC)
2009: NBC – 21.0 million
2008: NBC – 15.9 million
2007: NBC – 18.0 million
2006: NBC – 20.9 million
2005: ABC – 18.8 million
2004: ABC – 17.8 million
2003: ABC – 19.3 million
2002: ESPN (Thurs.)/ABC (Mon.) – 15.0 million

BEST SINCE MANNING BOWL: The “Sunday Night Football” opener won by the Packers 21-15 drew 21.1 million viewers (8:32-11:48 p.m. ET) an increase of 15 percent over last year’s SNF opener (Bears-Colts, 18.4 million) and 16 percent over the 2007 SNF opener (Giants-Cowboys, 18.2 million). The much-hyped “Manning Bowl,” the first SNF game on NBC drew 22.6 million viewers and stands as the second most-viewed “Sunday Night Football” game ever.

The opening SNF game had a national household rating of 12.6 and a 21 share, up 13 percent from the 2008 SNF opener (Bears-Colts, 11.2/18), up nine percent from the 2007 SNF Opener (Giants-Dallas, 11.6/19). The “Manning Bowl,” the 2006 SNF opener, is the highest-rated game in SNF history at a 14.3/23.

NBC’s two-game household rating average is a 12.7/21 up 28 percent from 2008 (9.9/17), up nine percent from 2007 (11.6/19) and down just six percent from 2006 (13.5/22).

DOMINATED PRIMETIME: The Packers 21-15 victory dominated the night for NBC, beating ABC, CBS and Fox combined in total viewers, households and Adults 18-49.

NBC’s 7:30-11 p.m. primetime averaged 17.8 million in total viewers and 7.2 in Adults 18-49 and representing the best Sunday night averages in both categories for any network since ABC’s Academy Awards coverage on Feb. 22.

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