Ratings Roundup: NBA In-Season Tournament Boasts Largest Viewership On ABC and ESPN2 in Five Years

Ratings Roundup is a rundown of recent rating news and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Eagles-Cowboys matchup averages 26.3 million viewers; Patriots-Steelers attract over 10 million viewers.

Inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament Championship Game on ABC and ESPN2 Is Most-Watched Non-Christmas Game During Regular Season on Any Network in Five Years

Saturday’s Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Indiana Pacers in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament Championship Game from Las Vegas, Nev. averaged 4,580,000 viewers on ABC and ESPN2. It is the most-watched non-Christmas NBA game during the regular season on any network in nearly six years, since February of 2018, according to Nielsen.

Viewership peaked with 5,680,000 viewers at 11 p.m. ET. The average audience was up 46 percent vs. last year’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC season debut, which is the comparable window (Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors).

The audience for the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship Game was also up 64 percent from last season’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC average. It was the most-watched program in primetime and among all key demographics for Saturday, December 9.

The traditional game broadcast aired on ABC, while NBA Unplugged with Kevin Hart, the alternate presentation, aired on ESPN2. NBA Unplugged with Kevin Hart garnered nearly 10 percent of the overall audience in in its debut.

NBA Countdown Presented By Door Dash, ABC’s pregame show, averaged 2,060,000 viewers prior to the Championship Game. It was up 30 percent compared to the comparable window last year – the pregame show for NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC season debut.

Eagles-Cowboys Averages 26.3 Million Viewers on NBC and Peacock to Rank as Most-Watched December SNF Game Since 2016

The Dallas Cowboys’ 33-13 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last night on NBC and Peacock averaged 26.3 million viewers – ranking as the most-watched December Sunday Night Football game since 2016 (26.7 million for a three-point New York Giants victory over the Dallas Cowboys, 12/11/16). Viewership peaked at 29.9 million viewers from 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET.

Despite an 18-point halftime differential (Dallas led 24-6), the game’s Total Audience Delivery (TAD) average of 26.3 million viewers across NBC, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, and NFL Digital platforms is up 57% from last year’s corresponding game (16.7 million for Dolphins-Chargers).

Eagles-Cowboys is the sixth NBC Sports’ NFL game this season to top 25 million viewers – the most ever through Week 14 in the NBC SNF package (since 2006).

The Average Minute Audience (AMA) for last night’s live stream via Peacock, NBC Sports Digital platforms, and NFL Digital platforms, was 2.3 million viewers – marking NBC Sports’ largest streaming audience ever for a regular-season Sunday NFL game.

Last night’s game (8:23 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET) registered a national TV household rating of 12.7/34.

This Sunday night (Dec. 17), the Baltimore Ravens (NFL-best 10-3) visit the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) on Sunday Night Football in a matchup of first-place teams with AFC Playoff implications.

Viewership figures are based upon custom fast national live + same day data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. Official national data for NBC will be available Tuesday.

TOP METERED MARKETS FOR EAGLES-COWBOYS (based on 44 markets available):

Prime Video’s Patriots-Steelers TNF Matchup Attracts 10.71M viewers, up +30% YoY

Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football is serving double-digit, year-over-year increases by the dozen, as the property’s season-long streak extends to 12 games. Last night’s presentation of a classic AFC battle between the Patriots and Steelers attracted 10.71 million viewers to Prime Video and contributed to a season that is generating
substantial gains among total viewers and all key demos. Below, find detailed viewership highlights from last night, as well as season-to-date figures and trends.

According to Nielsen National TV Ratings (panel only), TNF on Prime Video averaged 10.71 million viewers on Thursday night, posting an increase of +30% over last year’s comparable TNF game (8.26M for Raiders vs. Rams, 12/8/22). This marked the twelfth week of year-over-year, double-digit viewership growth for TNF.

Viewership of Patriots-Steelers on TNF peaked at 11.60M viewers at 9:15PM EST. TNF stands as the only NFL package to post a year-over-year increase every week this season.

Season-to-date, TNF is averaging 12.42M total viewers, an increase of +29% vs. last season’s 12-game average on Prime Video (9.62M).

TNF’s 2023 12-game average is up +30% in total viewers over last year’s full-season average (12.42M vs. 9.58M).

As it has every week this season, TNF won the night among total viewers across all linear cable and broadcast programming (+141% over the No. 2 program). Among viewers in the coveted P18-34 demographic, TNF on Prime averaged 1.90M, and outperformed all programming on Thursday (+381% over the No. 2 program).

Season-to-date, TNF is averaging 2.55M within the P18-34 demographic, an increase of +17% over last year’s 12-game average in the demo.

Among viewers in the P18-49 demographic, TNF on Prime averaged 4.50M, and outperformed all programming on Thursday (+470% over the No. 2 program).

Season-to-date, TNF is averaging 5.82M within the P18-49 demographic, an increase of +21% over last year’s 12-game average in the demo.

Among Female viewers, TNF is averaging 4.03M this season, an increase of +37% over last year’s 12-game average in the F2+ demo. Season-to-date, TNF on Prime’s median age is 48, which is 7 years younger than audiences watching the NFL on linear networks (55), and 14 years younger than audiences watching prime time broadcast television (62).
Through 12 weeks, TNF Tonight, TNF on Prime Video’s pregame show that kicks off each week at 7PM EST, is averaging 1.44M viewers, which is an increase of +25% over last year’s 12-game average (1.15M). Through 11 weeks (the most recent available postgame show data), TNF Nightcap is averaging 1.94M viewers, which is an increase of +19% over last year’s 11-game average (1.64M), and outperforming all head-to-head programming across broadcast and cable.

According to Nielsen’s custom Integrated Live Streaming Report,* Prime Video averaged 11.65 million viewers (AMA) across all media platforms during last night’s game, and is averaging 13.59M through 12 games in that metric. Please note that Nielsen’s custom Integrated Live Streaming Report is currently under review by the Media Rating Council
and is not presently accredited.

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