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TV Ratings Sunday: 'Sunday Night Football' Heads For Best Ratings Ever

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September 12th, 2011

Scoreboard NBC FOX CBS Uni ABC
Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 7.8/20 3.2/8 2.3/6 1.4/3 1.2/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 7.1/20 3.4/10 1.5/4 1.3/4 0.8/2
Total Viewers (million) 19.208 7.381 9.352 3.261 4.843

Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC all night (NFL Football) and Fox's 7-8pm hour (NFL overrun) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

The early overnight 16.9 household rating for the Sunday Night Football game was the best ever, and 3% above last year's opener indicating that the likely final ratings for the game will be up. But for Cowboys fans it was Oh No, Romo once again.

While we won't know the final ratings until later today, comparing the fast affiliate ratings vs. last year the primetime portion of NBC's Sunday Night Football Game 1: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets posted a 9.5 adults 18-49 rating from 830-11p, up from last year's Sunday season opener (DAL Cowboys vs. WAS Redskins), which delivered an 8.6 adults 18-49 rating from 8:30-11p in the Fast Nationals before rising to a 9.6 adults 18-49 rating from 8:31-11:40p in the Finals.

Click here for Sunday's Final Ratings.

Even with the caveats about fast affiliate ratings for live programming, of course NBC will top the night with both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

The CBS special 9/11: 10 Years Later drew a surprisingly high 3.6  adults 18-49 rating. Earlier in the evening, 60 Minutes started off with a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating.

ABC's special edition of 20/20 at 10pm had a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating.

Because of Fox's multiple showings of The X Factor preview their Sunday schedule was pushed around, and In the Flow With Affion Crockett finale ratings below are mixed up with Family Guy in the half hour, so comparisons to the 1.3 adults 18-49 rating below are misleading.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, September 11, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 FOX THE OT 7.2 21 17.856
NBC FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA 2.7 8 7.463
CBS 60 Minutes 1.1 3 7.176
ABC AMERICA'S Funniest Home Videos - R 1.1 3 4.650
7:30 NBC FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA 4.6 13 11.350
FOX THE OT 4.4 12 10.401
CBS 60 Minutes 1.5 4 8.775
ABC AMERICA'S Funniest Home Videos - R 1.3 4 5.627
8:00 NBC FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA 7.8 20 19.599
CBS 9/11:  10 YEARS LATER 2.7 7 10.298
FOX THE Simpsons - R 2.4 6 5.212
ABC EXTREME MAKE: HOME - R 1.1 3 4.281
8:30 NBC NBC Sunday Night Football 9.8 24 24.591
CBS 9/11:  10 YEARS LATER 3.7 9 12.672
FOX Family Guy - R 2.0 5 4.190
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - R 1.2 3 4.426
9:00 NBC NBC Sunday Night Football 9.5 22 23.580
CBS 9/11:  10 YEARS LATER 4.0 9 13.355
FOX Family Guy - R 1.9 4 3.958
ABC SUNDAY 20/20:  THE SIXTH SENSE 1.0 2 4.337
9:30 NBC NBC Sunday Night Football 9.5 22 23.017
CBS 9/11:  10 YEARS LATER 3.8 9 12.607
FOX IN THE FLOW WITH AFFION CROCKETT 1.3 3 2.669
ABC SUNDAY 20/20:  THE SIXTH SENSE 1.1 2 4.508
10:00 NBC NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 9.7 23 22.855
ABC A SPECIAL EDITION OF 20/20 1.6 4 5.494
CBS THE Good Wife - R 1.1 3 5.233
10:30 NBC NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 9.1 23 21.209
ABC A SPECIAL EDITION OF 20/20 1.6 4 5.419
CBS THE Good Wife - R 0.9 2 4.700

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Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

Definitions:

Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live baseball game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

 
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