Sunday Night Football on NBC Sports Grabs Primetime’s Top Spot for Ninth Straight Year

With the 2019-20 TV season wrapping up tonight, NBC’s Sunday Night Football finishes as primetime’s #1 TV show in all key metrics for the ninth consecutive year – adding to its record for the most consecutive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on official 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 10th consecutive TV season.

NBC Sunday Night Football posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 20.5 million viewers in 2019 – up 5% from the prior season (19.6 million) and a 12% increase over 2017 (18.4 million), according to official live plus same day data released by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

“We are extremely proud of our team, which works so hard each week and throughout the year to present Sunday Night Football,” said Pete Bevacqua, President, NBC Sports Group. “We thank the millions of loyal viewers who tuned in every Sunday, and are pleased to share this unprecedented streak with the NFL.”

Most Consecutive Years, #1 Ranked Show in Primetime, Since 1950

  • 9 years in a row – Sunday Night Football (2011-12 through 2019-20)
  • 6 years in a row – American Idol (2005-06 through 2010-11)
  • 5 years in a row – The Cosby Show (1985-86 through 1989-90)…tied Cheers in ‘89-90
  • 5 years in a row – All in the Family (1971-72 through 1975-76)
  • 4 years in a row – Gunsmoke (1957-58 through 1960-61)

SNF Posts Viewership and Ratings Advantages ver Primetime’s No. 2 Show

Viewership
NBC Sunday Night Football averaged 20.0 million TV viewers in 2019, which topped the #2 primetime show (TNF) by 34%. SNF also beat the top scripted series (NCIS) by 72%, up from last year’s 45% advantage.

Household Rating
SNF averaged an 11.3/22 household rating in posting a 28% advantage over primetime’s #2 show (TNF). SNF also easily topped the highest-rated scripted series (NCIS), with a 57% margin (up from a 38% edge last year).

Also notable from the 2019-20 TV season:

  • For the 2019-20 primetime television season, Sunday Night Football ranked as the highest-rated (11.3 HH rating) and most-watched show (20.0 million TV-only viewers), and the No. 1 program among Adults 18-49 (6.1). (Nielsen Live + Same Day Data, 9/5/19-5/17/20; Regularly-Scheduled Series, Excludes Pre- and Post-Game Shows)
  • In each of its 14 seasons (2006-19), NBC’s Sunday Night Football has averaged at least a 10.0 U.S. household rating (11.3 this season) and a 5.0 rating in the key Adult 18-49 demographic (6.1 this season). Among other primetime shows, only American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy have posted a 10.0 HH rating and a 5.0 demo rating more than twice in that 14-year stretch, and neither has done so since 2011. (Nielsen Live + Same Day Data, 9/5/19-5/17/20; Excludes Pre- and Post-Game Shows)
  • 10 NBC Sunday Night Football games in the 2019 NFL season averaged 20+ million TV viewers. Only five other non-NFL Postseason primetime telecasts averaged 20 million viewers since last September (Nationals-Astros World Series Game 7, Ohio State-Clemson College Football Playoff Semifinal, LSU-Clemson CFP Championship Game, the post-Super Bowl Masked Singer, and the Academy Awards).
  • SNF’s nine-year run at the top marks the only nine times on record that a sports series has been the highest-rated and most-watched show of the primetime TV season.