via press release:
2009 NFL ON FOX SEASON SMASHES AUDIENCE RECORD
HIGHEST-RATED CAMPAIGN SINCE 1995
NATIONAL GAMES SET NEW MARK;
HIGHEST-RATED, MOST-WATCHED PROGRAM ON ANY NETWORK
FOX SPORTS IS NO. 1 SPORTS NETWORK FOR 13TH STRAIGHT YEAR
The 2009 NFL on FOX regular season goes down as the most-watched NFL season in FOX’s history, and the highest-rated since 1995 based on Week 17 fast national ratings released by Nielsen Media Research.
The complete 2009 regular season averaged 19.1 million viewers, smashing the previous NFL on FOX record of 18.2 million set in 1995 by almost a million viewers and more than two million more viewers than a year ago (17.0 million). As for the household ratings, 2009 averaged an 11.4/23, the NFL on FOX’s best average rating in 14 years (12.5/29 in 1995), and a +9% gain over last season’s 10.5/22. The 9% ratings increase and +12% in average audience represent the biggest single-year increases in NFL on FOX history.
The NFL on FOX WEEK 17 DOUBLEHEADER posted a 12.4/23 average household rating/share, with 21.1 million viewers, a remarkably strong performance considering the lead game in each window (Giants-Vikings early, Eagles-Cowboys late) saw the winners out-score the losers 68-7. Sunday’s 12.4/23 is +18% better than last year’s 10.5/21 Week 17 Doubleheader which featured the same teams playing in the same windows. FOX’s WEEK 17 NATIONAL GAME earned a 15.2/26 (26.5 mill.), a +23% bump over last year’s 12.4/24 rating and +38% in audience, with most markets seeing Eagles-Cowboys both years. The REGIONAL GAME earned an 9.6/19 (15.6 mill.), a +13% improvement over last season’s 8.5/19 rating and +61% in audience, a stunning performance considering most markets saw the Vikings rout the Giants opposite a meaningful Steelers-Dolphins game on CBS.
The FOX NFL SUNDAY pregame show finished the 2009 season with a flourish, spiking to a season-high 4.7/11 household rating/share with 7.3 million viewers, the show’s best rating since Week 14 of 2008 (4.9/12). America’s No. 1 NFL pre-game show since its inception in 1994, FOX NFL SUNDAY finished the ’09 season essentially flat with a year ago on rating (3.2 vs. 3.3) and average audience (4.85 million vs. 4.81 million). Full season comparisons to THE NFL TODAY are presently unavailable, however through Week 16, FOX NFL SUNDAY held a 29% lead over CBS’ pregame show (3.1 vs. 2.4), significantly higher than last year’s 22% gap (3.3 vs. 2.7) which will likely grow once CBS’ national ratings are released.
NFL on FOX NATIONAL GAMES had a remarkable 2009 season and currently rank as television’s highest-rated and most-watched program in any day-part for the season-to-date. This season’s National Games, the 4:15pm games on the NFL on FOX’s nine doubleheader dates, averaged an enormous 15.5/28 and over 26.2 million viewers, both new NFL on FOX records. For context, FOX’s ’09 National Game beats prime time’s highest-rated program – CBS’s NCIS – by +22% in rating (vs. 12.7/20) and +25% in average audience (vs. 21.0 mill.). The NFL on FOX National Games ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched program each week of air. Compared to other marquee NFL windows, the NFL on FOX National Game out-rated CBS’s National Game by +14% (vs. 13.6/26 through Week 16) and NBC’s Sunday Night Football by +31% (vs. 11.8/19 through Week 16), margins that will increase when Week 17 games are included. While NFL on FOX National Games air only nine times per season, this year it supplied over 27.5 hours of programming, more than a full season of most original hit primetime series.
FOX SPORTS NO. 1 – AGAIN
FOX Sports continued its position as the nation’s leading producer of big event sports finishing 2009 as America’s No. 1 sports network for the 13th straight year, according to Nielsen Media Research. All sports-related programs on FOX averaged a 6.1/13 household rating/share, with an average audience of 10 million viewers. FOX Sports out-distanced second place CBS (3.9/9, 6.2 million) by +56% in rating and 61% in audience; ABC (3.0/7, 4.7 mill.) by 103% and 113%, respectively, and ESPN (0.7/2, 1 mill) by 771% and 1000%, respectively