via press release:
NFL ON FOX SETS RATINGS RECORDS
New York -- Final national ratings for Week 1 of the NFL on FOX were released this morning by Nielsen Media Research, and the 2009 regular season got off to a phenomenal start with an 11.6/24 HH average (19.5 million viewers) for the network’s doubleheader coverage. The 11.6 rating represents FOX’s best Week 1 Doubleheader ever and a huge +29% gain over last year's 9.0/19. FOX posted a record-high Week 1 National (14.8/29) rating, an eight-year high for the Week 1 Regional (8.6/19), and a five-year high for FOX NFL SUNDAY, America’s No. 1 pregame show (3.5/9, tied with 2006).
• FOX’s Week 1 NATIONAL GAME fired a spectacular 14.8/29 (25.1 million viewers). Those numbers make for a long list of ratings superlatives, including:
n Highest-rated and most-watched Week 1 game ever on FOX;
n Most-watched Sunday Week 1 game on record (records go back to 1981);
n Most-watched Week 1 game, including Monday nights, on any network since 1996;
n Highest-rated Sunday Week 1 game since 1987;
n Highest-rated Week 1 game, including Monday nights, since 2000;
n Highest-rated and most-watched TV program of any kind since the American Idol finale.
On a simple year-to-year basis, Sunday’s 14.8/29 is up +14% over last year's 13.0/25 (20.9 mill), and FOX posted strong increases across all key male and adult demos including M18-34 (+23%), M18-49 (+21%), M25-54 (11%), A18-49 (+20%), and average audience (+20%).
• FOX's REGIONAL GAME rating soared to an 8.6/19 (14.1 mill.) as most markets saw either the Dallas Cowboys or Brett Favre's debut as a Viking. In addition to being an eight-year high for a Week 1 Regional, Sunday's 8.6/19 is a +69% increase over last year's 5.1/11.
• FOX NFL SUNDAY earned a 3.5/9 (5.2 mill.), a +13% gain over last year's opener and a +35% win over CBS's NFL TODAY. FOX earned decisive wins over CBS across the major male demographics: +17% on M18-34 (2.1 vs. 1.8), +35% on M18-49 (2.7 vs. 2.0), and +35% on M25-54 (3.1 vs. 2.3).
• FOX's NFL post-game show, THE OT averaged a 6.8/12 (11.3 mill.), up +17% over 2008's 5.8/11, and out-rated NBC's Football Night in America (3.1/6, 4.8 mill.) by a staggering +119% head-to-head.