Did you know America loves football?
In case you needed reminding, check out the rankings of the most watched shows in the 2016-17 television season, which ended this week. Average viewership totals include live and same-day audience:
- Sunday Night Football (NBC) — 20.3 million viewers on average
- Thursday Night Football (NBC) — 17 million viewers
- Thursday Night Football (CBS) — 14.7 million viewers
- NCIS (CBS) — 14.6 million viewers
- Big Bang Theory (CBS) — 14 million viewers
Football, procedural crime dramas and cheesy comedies. That’s what this country is all about.
According to NBC, this is the sixth consecutive year that Sunday Night Football has been the most-watched show on TV. That ties a record set by American Idol (2006-11) for longest streak at No. 1.
There’s certainly no reason to expect Sunday Night Football to lose its top spot on this chart any time soon. Ratings for the NFL may have dropped last year, but the decline wasn’t so steep that you’d forecast SNF to lose millions of viewers next year. It helps that SNF’s closest competition by this measure is Thursday Night Football, which airs on a night less associated with football and bounces around from network to network, preventing viewers from building too much brand loyalty.
It’s worth noting that if you go by the calendar year and not the TV year, that Big Bang Theory actually knocked off Sunday Night Football in 2016.
Regardless of how you slice the numbers, it’s worth remembering that even if NFL ratings are declining a bit, America still has plenty of appetite for football.