Patriots Colts Football
Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (Sunday Night Football) and Fox (NFL Overrun) (and possibly a CBS NFL overrun in some markets) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

NBC didn’t need to go for it on 4th down, as the Patriots/Colts Sunday Night Football matchup easily got them the nightly ratings win. Boosted by a football overrun, Fox was a strong second place.

In preliminary numbers, NBC’s Sunday Night Football Game 10: Patriots vs. Colts delivered a 7.5 adults 18-49 rating /18 share from 830-11p, down slightly from Game 8 (Cowboys vs. Eagles) last Sunday, which posted a 7.6 rating /19 share in the Fast Nationals before rising to an 8.5/22 from 8:31-11:50p in the Finals. The Cowboys are a lot easier to beat on the football field than they are in the TV ratings.

Fox can thank the early NFL overrun for its great average from last night. Otherwise, its results were in line with recent results. The Simpsons were up 2% to a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating. The Cleveland Show was up 0.1 ratings point from its off-timed episode last Sunday to a 3.3 rating. Family Guy was flat with last week’s 4.1 rating, but that’s well below its season average of a 4.6 rating. American Dad was down 6% from its last regular timeslot telecast on October 18 to a 2.9 rating.

ABC’s lineup rebounded strongly from last Sunday’s lows, with every show up double digits. America’s Funniest Home Videos increased 20%+ to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was up 20% to a 3.6 rating which is a season high. Desperate Housewives was up 11% to a 49 rating. And Brothers & Sisters was up 10% to a 3.2 rating. ABC drew its biggest non-sports audience on the night (excluding the Oscars) in nearly 1 year and its best Adult 18-49 number in 6 months – since 11/30/08 and 5/17/09, respectively.

CBS’ weak late Sunday night bounced up as well, from pitiful to simply weak as Three Rivers was up to a series high 11% to a 2.0 2.1 rating, and Cold Case was up 24% to a 2.1 rating. Big increases, but still weak ratings. The Amazing Race was down 9% to a 3.2 rating, and without a football overrun, 60 Minutes fell way back to earth to a typically weak 2.2 rating.

Update: There are reports that some markets had a CBS football overrun. If so, the CBS numbers are liable to change more than usual in the final numbers.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 FOX NFL Football 8.0 23 22.04
NBC Football Night In America 2.3 6 6.497
CBS 60 Minutes 1.9 5 10.981
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos 1.9 5 7.407
7:30 FOX NFL Overrun / The OT 5.1 14 12.972
NBC Football Night In America 3.0 8 8.243
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos 2.5 7 9.559
CBS 60 Minutes 2.4 7 13.532
8:00 NBC Football Night In America 5.3 13 15.177
FOX The Simpsons 4.2 10 9.041
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 3.3 8 10.916
CBS Amazing Race 3.2 8 12.24
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: New England v. Indianapolis 8.1 19 22.227
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 3.9 9 12.251
FOX The Cleveland Show 3.3 8 7.011
CBS Amazing Race 3.2 8 11.049
9:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: New England v. Indianapolis 7.5 17 21.058
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.9 11 14.434
FOX Family Guy 4.1 10 8.283
CBS Three Rivers 2.1 5 8.777
9:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: New England v. Indianapolis 7.8 18 20.766
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.9 12 14.267
FOX American Dad 2.9 7 5.991
CBS Three Rivers 1.8 4 8.127
10:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: New England v. Indianapolis 7.0 18 17.877
ABC Brothers & Sisters 3.3 8 10.421
CBS Cold Case 2.1 5 9.434
10:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: New England v. Indianapolis 6.9 19 17.318
ABC Brothers & Sisters 3.1 9 9.915
CBS Cold Case 2.0 6 9.042

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 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 football 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 which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. 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.

  • In metered-market households, football ruled the night, with NBC’s 8-11 p.m. average 12.8/21 in the metered markets establishing a 19% margin of victory over CBS’s second-place 10.8/17.
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