While it hasn’t been a great run for NFL ratings recently, the league still can boast some pretty impressive numbers. And ever since the league transitioned its top primetime package from Monday Night Football to Sunday Night Football on NBC, it has become the premier game window in not just the NFL, but all of primetime sports.
That is evidenced in SNF’s continued domination in primetime ratings. And once again this year, Sunday Night Football has emerged from the television season as the number one show in all of primetime. This year represents the seventh consecutive television season that SNF has been the top rated show in primetime, breaking a tie with American Idol for the longest streak in television history.
Here’s more details from NBC:
With the 2017-18 TV season wrapping up tonight, NBC’s Sunday Night Football finishes as primetime’s #1 TV show in all key metrics for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year – breaking a tie with American Idol for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on live plus same day data provided by Nielsen. Sunday Night Football also ranked as the No. 1 show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic for the eighth consecutive TV season.
“As part of the strongest primetime lineup in TV, this milestone is a testament to the hundreds of hard-working members of the Sunday Night Football team, who are devoted to putting on a superb show each week,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting & Sports. “We celebrate this accomplishment with the NFL and the millions of loyal viewers who tune in every Sunday.”
Below are more details from NBC. What’s interesting to note is that SNF still reigned supreme this year while seeing an overall decrease in their viewership numbers. For the 2016 season, Sunday Night Football averaged 20.3 million viewers. Even though that number went down to 18.2 million viewers on traditional television, it was still enough to claim top spot.
The Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for the 2017 Sunday Night Football season on NBC and NBC Sports Digital was 18.4 million viewers. For SNF, NBC Sports Group’s Total Audience Delivery measures broader consumption by calculating average minute viewing across broadcast and digital.
For the 2017-18 primetime television season, Sunday Night Football ranked as the highest-rated (10.3 HH rating) and most-watched show (18.2 million TV-only viewers), and the No. 1 program among Adults 18-49 (6.1).
In each of its 12 seasons (2006-17), Sunday Night Football has averaged at least a 10.0 U.S. household rating (10.3 this season) and a 6.0 rating in the key Adult 18-49 demographic (6.1 this season). Among other primetime shows, only American Idol has posted a 10.0 HH rating and a 6.0 demo rating more than twice in that 12-year stretch, and has not done so since 2010. (Nielsen Live + Same Day Data, 9/7/17-5/22/18; Excludes Pre- and Post-Game Shows)
SNF’s seven-year run at the top marks the only seven times on record that a sports series has been the highest-rated and most-watched show of the primetime TV season.
There’s still nothing more valuable in television than live sports and entertainment. It’s why the NFL gets billions of dollars from all their network partners. And it’s why WWE and UFC have just signed megadeals with Fox and ESPN respectively.
The numbers may not be quite as high as they once were, but as long as Sunday Night Football can maintain superiority over everything else in primetime, NBC won’t be too dissatisfied.