*Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (NFL Football), and ABC (NBA Basketball) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

It was never in doubt that the Bears-Packers would pace NBC to a Christmas night victory, but against repeat competition the margin of victory was wide.  Keep in mind that the numbers for the football game are preliminary, not time zone adjusted and only for the primetime portion of the game. Those numbers will certainly be adjusted up.  The same also goes for the portion of the Bulls-Lakers game from 7-8p. We did not see any numbers for the the game prior to 7pm, but I’m sure the NBA Sunday games related press releases will roll out today and tomorrow – update: here’s the release for the overnight (household) ratings for the games on ABC & ESPN (note, unlike the fast national rating below, the overnight metered market household ratings are time zone adjusted).

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, December 25, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
7:00 ABC NBA: Bulls at Lakers Overrun* 3.3/12 8.53
NBC Football Night in America Pt 1* 2.3/9 8.44
CBS 60 Minutes 0.9/3 6.40
FOX Bobs Burgers (R) 0.3/1 1.10
7:30 NBC Football Night in America Pt 2* 2.8/10 9.66
FOX The Cleveland Show (R) 0.5/2 1.26
8:00 NBC Football Night in America Pt 3* 5.2/17 16.74
ABC How the Grinch Stole Christmas (R) 1.7/6 4.30
FOX The Simpsons (R) 0.8/3 1.96
CBS CSI (R) 0.7/2 5.22
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears at Packers* 6.6/21 21.26
ABC Movie: Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas(R) 1.1/4 3.06
FOX The Cleveland Show (R) 0.8/3 2.02
9:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears at Packers* 6.8/20 21.82
ABC Movie: Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas(R) 1.1/3 3.15
FOX Family Guy (R) 1.0/3 2.33
CBS The Good Wife (R) 0.6/2 4.22
9:30 FOX American Dad (R) 1.0/3 2.23
10:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears at Packers* 6.9/21 20.66
ABC Movie: Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas(R) 1.2/4 3.68
CBS CSI: Miami (R) 0.9/3 5.70

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


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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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