27.2 Million Watch NFL Kickoff On NBC; Second-Most Watched NFL Regular Season Primetime Game In 15 Years

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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September 9th, 2011

via press release:

27.2 MILLION WATCH NFL KICKOFF ON NBC; SECOND-MOST WATCHED NFL REGULAR SEASON PRIMETIME GAME IN 15 YEARS

Saints-Packers is Second-Most Watched “NFL Kickoff” Ever

Last Night's Game Had Highest Adult18-49 rating for a Primetime NFL Regular-Season Game in 14 years

Dominated Primetime Competition By 19.7 Million Over Second Place Network

NEW YORK – Sept. 9, 2011 – Last night’s ‘NFL Kickoff’ was the second-most watched NFL regular season primetime game on any one network in 15 years. The Saints-Packers NFL season opener on NBC was also the second most-watched ‘NFL Kickoff’ ever, the second most-watched regular-season primetime game ever on NBC and the highest Adult 18-49 rating for a primetime NFL regular-season game on any net in 14 years, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company.

The rematch of the last two Super Bowl champions won by the Packers, 42-34, at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., was seen by 27.2 million viewers (8:41-11:49 p.m. ET), the second-most watched primetime NFL regular season game on any one network in 15 years (31.5 million for Green Bay-Dallas on Nov. 18, 1996 on ABC).

The 27.2 million for last night’s game was the second-most watched NFL Kickoff game, behind only last year’s Thursday night NFL Kickoff (27.5 million viewers; down 1%), which featured a NFC Championship Game rematch between the Minnesota Vikings, led by quarterback Brett Favre, and the then-defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

Last night’s game was the second-most-watched regular-season primetime game on NBC ever, surpassing such games as last year’s Cowboys-Eagles Week 14 game (25.73 million), last year’s Vikings-Packers game (Favre’s return to Lambeau II - 25.68 million) and the 2009 opening of the new Cowboys Stadium (24.8 million). Full list below.

The game earned a 10.9 rating in the key Adult 18-49 advertiser demographic, the highest rating in that demographic for a primetime NFL regular-season game on any network in 14 years, since 12/15/97 and the highest-rated program in primetime in that demographic since the Academy Awards (11.8 on 2/27/11).

The final half hour of NFL Kickoff 2011 (8-8:30 p.m. ET), the pregame show to celebrate the start of the NFL season, drew 14.7 million viewers up 28 percent from last year (11.5 million from 8-8:30 p.m. ET), the most-watched NFL Kickoff show half-hour ever.

SECOND-BEST RATING IN 12 YEARS: Last night’s game had a household rating of 16.0/26, the second-highest rated regular season NFL primetime game on any network in 12 years (16.2/28 rating for Cowboys-Vikings on 11/8/99 on ABC), and the second-highest-rated regular-season primetime game ever on NBC,behind only last year’s Thursday night NFL Kickoff (16.5/28; down 3%).

The rating and viewership peaked from 9:30-10 p.m. ET at a 17.6/27 and 30.5 million viewers, respectively.

NBC DOMINATES PRIMETIME: NBC dominated primetime (8-11 p.m.) with 25.5 million viewers overall, 19.7 million more than and 340 percent higher than CBS's second-place 5.8 million. NBC topped the combined audiences of CBS, ABC (4.9 million), Fox (3.2 million) and CW (0.8 million) by 73 percent.

From 8-11 p.m., NBC averaged a 9.9 rating in adults 18-49, the highest non-Olympic Thursday night average for NBC since the Friends finale more than seven years ago, May 6, 2004 (18.9), topping the primetime average for last year’s NFL Kickoff (9.3).

Last night’s game is the most-watched program on primetime television since the American Idol season 10 finale (FOX, 5/25/11, 29.3 million viewers) and highest-rated program since the Academy Awards (ABC, 2/27/11, 21.2 household rating).

NFL KICKOFF – THURSDAY NIGHT SEASON OPENERS VIEWERSHIP:
2011: NBC 27.2 million (Green Bay 42 – New Orleans 34)
2010: NBC 27.5 million (New Orleans 14 – Minnesota 9)
2009: NBC 20.9 million (Pittsburgh 13 – Tennessee 10)
2008: NBC 13.5 million (NY Giants 16 – Washington 7)*
2007: NBC 17.8 million (Indianapolis 41 – New Orleans 10)
2006: NBC 19.2 million (Pittsburgh 28 - Miami 17)
2005: ABC 18.0 million (New England 30 – Oakland 20)
2004: ABC 16.9 million (New England 27 – Indianapolis 24)
2003: ABC 19.1 million (Washington 16 – NY Jets 13)
2002: ESPN 10.8 million (San Francisco 16 – NY Giants 13)
* Early start due to Republican National Convention

MOST WATCHED NFL PRIMETIME GAMES ON NBC:
1. 27.5 million, Vikings-Saints, 9/9/10 (2010 NFL Kickoff)
2. 27.2 million, Saints-Packers, 9/8/11 (Last Night’s Game)
3. 25.73 million, Eagles-Cowboys, 12/12/10 (Most Watched SNF game ever)
4. 25.68 million, Vikings-Packers, 10/24/10, (Favre Return to Lambeau II)
5. 25.3 million, Cowboys-Redskins, 9/12/10 (2010 SNF: Week 1)
6. 24.8 million, Giants-Cowboys, 9/20/09 (Dallas Cowboys Stadium Debut)
7. 24.2 million, Packers-Patriots, 12/19/10 (2010 SNF Week 15)
8. 23.7 million, Vikings-Eagles, 12/28/10 (2010 SNF Week 16 - Tuesday Game)
9. 23.2 million, Giants-Eagles, 11/21/10 (2010 SNF: Week 11)
T10. 23.1 million Giants-Colts, 09/19/10 (“Manning Bowl II”)
T10. 23.1 million, Giants-Cowboys, 12/14/08 (2008 SNF: Week 15)

TOP METERED MARKETS FOR SAINTS-PACKERS:

    1. New Orleans, 57.7/75
    2. Milwaukee, 53.1/71
    3. Minneapolis, 23.8/39
    4. Kansas City, 23.0/34
    5. Nashville, 22.6/32
    6. Indianapolis, 22.2/34
    7. Baltimore, 22.1/35
    8. Las Vegas, 21.7/33
    9. Washington, 21.2/35
    10. Chicago, 21.2/33
 
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