NFL 2013 TV Recap: 205 Million Fans Tuned In; 34 of 35 Most Watched Shows This Fall

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 8th, 2014

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via press release:

205 MILLION FANS TUNED IN

 

34 of 35 MOST-WATCHED SHOWS THIS FALL

 

SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR:  NFL GAME TV’S MOST WATCHED SHOW ALL 17 WEEKS

 

NFL GAME VIEWERSHIP NEARLY TRIPLES BROADCAST PRIMETIME

 

RECORD SEASON FOR NFL NETWORK

 

Football fans tuned into the 2013 NFL season in BIG numbers.  According to The Nielsen Company, the 2013 regular season reached 205 million unique viewers, representing 81 percent of all television homes and 70 percent of potential viewers in the U.S.

 

The 2013 NFL Regular Season averaged 17.6 million viewers per game telecast, the second most-watched season ever behind the 2010 season (17.9 million).

 

NFL games accounted for 34 of the 35 most-watched TV shows among all programming last fall (chart below).

 

Twenty-two NFL game telecasts this season were watched by at least 25 million viewers – nearly triple the total for the full 2012 season (eight).

 

For the second consecutive year, an NFL game was the week’s most-watched TV show in all 17 weeks of the season.

 

NFL games nearly tripled broadcast primetime viewership. NFL games on CBS, FOX and NBC averaged 20.3 million viewers – 190 percent higher than the average primetime viewership among the four major over-the-air networks (7.0 million average on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC). That NFL advantage is more than triple the 56 percent edge of a decade ago (chart below).

 

Over the past decade, average viewership of NFL games on broadcast television has increased 31% from 15.5 million in 2003 to 20.3 million in 2013.

 

More 2013 NFL TV highlights:

 

  • NBC Sunday Night Football ranked as the most-watched primetime program for the fourth consecutive fall season averaging 21.7million viewers. The Week 17 SNF game (Eagles-Cowboys) was the most-watched primetime game in NFL regular-season history with an average of 27.4 million viewers. For the past two years, Sunday Night Football ranked as the most watched television show for the full fall-spring TV season, becoming the first sports series to ever hold that position.

 

  • FOX had its most-viewed season ever with an average of 21.1 million viewers per game.

 

  • CBS’ Thanksgiving Day Game (Oakland Raiders-Dallas Cowboys) was the most-watched show of the fall season with 31.7 million viewers.  2013 was CBS’ second most-watched season ever with an average of 18.6 million viewers.

 

  • NFL games accounted for 46 of the 50 most-watched telecasts (since Sept. 5) among adults aged 18-49 – with CBS, FOX, ESPN and NBC each represented on that list.

 

  • ESPN’s Monday Night Football was the most-watched series on cable for the eighth consecutive year with an average of 13.7 million viewers.

 

  • NFL Network wrapped up its eighth season of Thursday Night Football with a record average of 8.1 million viewers (including the audience from over-the-air stations in local markets) and ranked as the most-watched Thursday program on cable last fall.

 

  • NFL Network’s average weekday primetime viewership jumped eight percent from a record 2012.

 

 

NFL VS. PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP ON BROADCAST TV

 

NFL on

Broadcast

NFL

Broadcast

Primetime

% Advantage

2003 Avg. Viewers

15.5 million

9.9 million

56%

2004 Avg. Viewers

15.4 million

9.8 million

57%

2005 Avg. Viewers

15.6 million

9.7 million

61%

2006 Avg. Viewers

16.3 million

9.8 million

66%

2007 Avg. Viewers

16.6 million

8.7 million

91%

2008 Avg. Viewers

16.6 million

8.8 million

89%

2009 Avg. Viewers

18.4 million

8.5 million

116%

2010 Avg. Viewers

20.0 million

8.2 million

144%

2011 Avg. Viewers

19.8 million

8.1 million

144%

2012 Avg. Viewers

19.3 million

7.6 million

154%

2013 Avg. Viewers

20.3 million

7.0 million

190%

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company. NFL regular season on Broadcast television
(CBS, FOX & NBC…ABC prior to 2006).  Broadcast primetime on BIG 4 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX) all programs, NFL regular season dates used.

 

 

For the season, NFL games rank as 34 of the top 35 most-watched TV shows since Labor Day. Following are the most-watched programs this fall:

 

 

Program Viewers
  1. CBS Thanksgiving Day Game (Raiders-Cowboys), 11/28
31.7 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (mostly Packers-49ers), 9/8
28.5 million
  1. FOX Thanksgiving Day Game (Packers-Lions), 11/28
28.3 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Cowboys), 10/6
28.3 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Chiefs), 12/1
28.1 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (Cowboys-Giants), 11/24
27.9 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (Packers-Cowboys), 12/15
27.8 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (Seahawks-49ers), 12/8
27.6 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Eagles-Cowboys), 12/29
27.4 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-Broncos), 9/29
27.0 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Chiefs-Broncos), 11/17   
26.9 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Broncos-Colts), 10/20
26.9 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (mostly 49ers-Saints), 11/17
26.9 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (mostly Saints-Patriots), 10/13
26.7 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Broncos-Patriots), 11/24
26.5 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Giants), 9/15
26.4 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (mostly Packers-Bears), 12/29
26.4 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Colts-49ers), 9/22
25.6 million
  1. FOX Sunday National (mostly Redskins-Broncos), 10/27
25.5 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Giants-Cowboys), 9/8   
25.4 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Ravens-Steelers & Texans-Chiefs), 10/20
25.3 million
  1. NBC Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, 11/28
25.2 million
  1. NBC Thursday Night Kickoff Game (Ravens-Broncos), 9/5
25.1 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Ravens), 12/22
24.2 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Chargers), 11/10
24.1 million
  1. CBS Sunday National (mostly Steelers-Patriots), 11/3
24.0 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Redskins-Cowboys), 10/13
22.1 million
  1. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Redskins-Packers & Saints-Buccaneers), 9/15
21.9 million
  1. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Saints-Panthers & Giants-Lions), 12/22
21.9 million
  1. NBC Thanksgiving Night Game (Steelers-Ravens), 11/28
21.1 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Saints), 11/10
21.1 million
  1. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Packers-Bengals, Giants-Panthers & Rams-Cowboys), 9/22
20.9 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (49ers-Seahawks), 9/15
20.5 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Bears-Steelers), 9/22
20.5 million
  1. NBC Sunday Night Football (Patriots-Falcons), 9/29
20.5 million

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company

 

 
  • jay

    That’s amazing how the nfl average game has grown 5 million in a decade. Especially considering that everything else slid significantly. Shows don’t get anything close to what they use to get. Even baseball has had major slides in tye past decade. Yet nfl keeps getting bigger.

  • Douglas from Brazil

    NFL games are growing outside US too.Here in Brazil the american football fanbase grow year-to-year.Myself, started to watch this beloved sport since the fall of 2011,and I’m with pride that I’m a Patriots fan.

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