Sunday Night Football generated a lot of news this week. The September 20 Giants/Cowboys game was the most viewed SNF ever (24.8 million average viewers), and the most watched NFL primetime game in 12 years, but compared to regular 4pm Sunday games it wasn’t that extraordinary.

Since almost all the TV ratings press is about primetime shows, I want to point out that the Sunday 4pm Eastern NFL “national” game(s) is very often the most viewed NFL game and TV show for the week during the NFL season.

For example, the 4pm game(s) on September 13 beat the September 20 SNF game in viewership, yet because of when the data comes out, the way it’s reported (it’s often the combination of several games ratings) and the bent of the TV media (we’re guilty too), you’d almost never hear about it. I don’t have a good historical record of Sunday NFL game ratings, but the Sept 13 4pm game wasn’t unusual.

No question the NFL is the biggest thing on US TV, but it’s not just about primetime.

Here are the top 10 sports shows for the week ending September 13, 2009.

Program Network Rating Viewers (000)
FOX NFL SUNDAY-NATIONAL-09/13/2009 (VARIOUS) FOX 14.8 25,109
NBC NFL THURSDAY SPECIAL-09/10/2009 (PIT/TEN) NBC 12.8 20,909
NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL-09/13/2009 (CHI/GB) NBC 12.6 21,102
CBS NFL SINGLE-09/13/2009 (VARIOUS) CBS 7.1 11,374
ABC COLLEGE FTBL GM-LATE-09/12/2009 (ND/UM) ABC 5.2 8,391
CHEVY ROCK AND ROLL 400-09/12/2009 ABC 3.5 5,535
US OPEN TEN-SU-SEMI-09/13/2009 CBS 2.6 3,860
BMW GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP-SUN-09/13/2009 NBC 2.3 3,428
DEUTSCHE GOLF-MON-09/07/2009 NBC 2.2 3,182
Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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