via press release:
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" DRAWS RECORD 19.4 MILLION VIEWERS FOR SEASON
SNF Top Program on Sunday Night in Record 15 of 16 Weeks
SNF Ranked No. 1 in Key Demo & No. 2 in Viewers During NFL Season
"Football Night in America" Draws Record Audience & Rave Reviews
NEW YORK - Jan. 5, 2010 - "NBC Sunday Night Football," finished the season as the No. 1 show in primetime (Adults 18-49) and averaged 19.4 million viewers, a gain of 17 percent from last year (16.6 million). In the four years since the shift of the NFL's premier primetime package from Monday to Sunday nights, SNF is averaging more than three million more viewers than the last season of Monday Night Football on ABC (16.2 million in 2005). "Football Night in America" drew a record 7.4 million viewers up 18 percent over last season (6.3 million), and SNF's 11.7 rating and 19 share for the 2009 season in houeholds is 15 percent higher last year (10.2/16), according to Nielsen Media Research.
"The increase of three million viewers who now watch the NFL on Sunday night is a tribute to Roger Goodell, Paul Tagliabue, the NFL television committee and Steve Bornstein who all wholeheartedly embraced, from the beginning, that the greatest opportunity for growth for the primetime broadcast package would be the move to Sunday night - America's most-watched night," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. "These results are a tribute to them as well as to the best sports fans in America."
In addition to the gains seen by "Sunday Night Football" on NBC this season, when the final viewership numbers are available later this week, Fox, CBS, ESPN and the NFL Network will also report increased viewership for the 2009 season.
SNF DOMINATED SUNDAY NIGHTS: "Sunday Night Football" was the most watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a record *15 of 16 (94 percent) weeks this season. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 (81 percent) Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 (69 percent) and nine of 16 in 2006 (56 percent).
SNF NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM FOR SEASON IN KEY DEMOS: For the full season, "Sunday Night Football" ranked as the No. 1 program across the key demographics of Adults 18-49 (7.5), Men 25-54 (10.8), Men 18-49 (9.7) and Men 18-34 (8.1). Additionally, SNF ranked No. 2 in viewership (19.6 million) and in household rating (11.7) among all primetime programs during the football season.
For the primetime television season that began on Sept. 21 and didn't include the first three games (all of which drew more than 20 million viewers), SNF still held the top spot in the Adults 18-49 and all male demographics, and was No. 2 in viewers.
"FOOTBALL NIGHT" DRAWS RECORD AUDIENCE AND RAVE REVIEWS: The critically acclaimed "Football Night in America," which saw Bob Costas host the program from the game site and added Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison as analysts, had its best season ever drawing a record 7.4 million viewers (7:30-8:15 p.m. ET), a gain of 18 percent over last season (6.3 million), 21 percent over 2007 (6.2 million) and 14 percent over 2006 (6.5 million).
Critics raved about the changes to the format of "Football Night" this year and the additions of Dungy and Harrison:
"Bob Costas brings a sense of class to any broadcast on which he appears. I like having him at the site of the game." - Baltimore Sun
"Best TV rookies? This award goes to Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy for their refreshing candor in NBC's studio." - Miami Herald
"Candid, prepared and delivers the goods as a studio analyst." - Sports Illustrated on Dungy
"He has been analyzing for the television audience much the way he did for his team, in measured, but sometimes brutally candid tones." - NY Times on Dungy
"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" NO. 1 SHOW: This season, "Sunday Night Football" was the No. 1 program of the week in all of primetime television in 16 of 16 weeks in the important Adults 18-49 demographic coveted by advertisers, and was the most watched primetime program of the week (viewers) in six of 16 weeks. By comparison, in 2006, the first season of "Sunday Night Football" on NBC, the show was No. 1 in Adults 18-49 just three times and was the most-watched show of the week only once.
MORE PEOPLE ARE WATCHING NFL FOOTBALL ON SUNDAY NIGHTS: In the four years since the shift of the NFL's premier primetime package from Monday to Sunday nights, "Sunday Night Football" is averaging more than three million more viewers (19.4 million) than the last season of Monday Night Football on ABC in 2005 (16.2 million).
WEEK 2 GIANTS-COWBOYS MOST-WATCHED PRIMETIME GAME IN 12 YEARS: The Giants-Cowboys game in Week 2 was the most watched "Sunday Night Football" game ever and the most-watched NFL primetime regular season game in 12 years. The Giants 33-31 victory, in the unveiling of the new Cowboys Stadium, drew 24.8 million viewers, surpassing the previous year's Giants-Cowboys game (23.1 million on Dec. 14, 2008) and was the best delivery for any primetime regular-season NFL game in 12 years (Broncos-49ers, 27.0 million on Dec. 15, 1997).
SEVEN GAMES THIS SEASON WITH 20+ MILLION VIEWERS: "Sunday Night Football" had seven games this season with viewership exceeding 20 million. By comparison, two games surpassed 20 million viewers in 2008 and 2006, and there was just one such game in 2007.
"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" GAMES WITH 20+ MILLION VIEWERS:
* Denotes 2009 Season
*1. 24.8 million, Giants-Cowboys, 9/20/09 (Dallas Cowboys stadium debut)
2. 23.1 million, Giants-Cowboys, 12/14/08
3. 22.6 million, Colts-Giants, 9/10/06 ("Manning Bowl")
*4. 22.4 million, Patriots-Colts, 11/15/09
5. 22.2 million, Cowboys-Packers, 9/21/08
*T6. 21.9 million, Cowboys-Eagles, 11/8/09
T6. 21.9 million, Colts-Patriots, 11/5/06
8. 21.8 million, Eagles-Patriots, 11/25/07
*9. 21.1 million, Bears-Packers, 9/13/09
*T10. 20.9 million, Titans-Steelers, 9/10/09 (Thursday Night Opener)
*T10. 20.9 million, Vikings-Cardinals, 12/6/09
*T10. 20.9 million, Eagles-Giants, 12/13/09
"NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" TOP 20 METERED MARKETS
FULL 2009 SEASON:
1. Nashville, 19.3/28
2. Pittsburgh, 18.6/27
3. Indianapolis, 18.4/29
T4. Las Vegas, 18.1/27
T4. New Orleans, 18.1/25
6. Dallas, 17.2/28
7. Minneapolis, 16.9/27
8. San Diego, 16.3/27
9. Albuquerque, 15.8/24
10. Phoenix, 15.7/25
11. Norfolk, 15.5/23
12. Chicago, 15.4/24
T13. Washington, D.C., 15.1/25
T13. Milwaukee, 15.1/24
15. Richmond, 15.0/22
T16. Philadelphia, 14.7/22
T16. Denver, 14.7/23
T16. Memphis, 14.7/20
19. Baltimore, 14.6/23
20. Cincinnati, 14.5/22
*The only week that SNF did not have the most viewers was Week 7 when the Cardinals-Giants game went head-to-head with the deciding ALCS Game 6 between the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees that sent the Yankees to the World Series.