FOX, NBC Report NFL Ratings Boom for Week 1 Telecasts
FOX, for instance, is hyping Sunday's telecast of the 4:15 p.m. Sunday game, which was the Philadelphia-Green Bay game for most of the country, as the highest rated and most watched Week 1 national game in the history of the network.
The 16.5/32 Nielsen overnight rating/share, which resulted in a viewership of 28 million people, is an 11 percent boost from last year's 14.8/29 and 25.1 million viewers, and tied with NBC's Thursday night game between New Orleans and Minnesota as the highest rated broadcast on any network since the Oscars in March.
Meanwhile, NBC touts that its broadcast of the Washington-Dallas game Sunday night was the most watched opening week prime time game in 14 years as well as the most watched Sunday night game ever.
The game, which drew a 15.0/25, was up 19 percent from the 12.6/21 for the Bears-Packers opener in 2009, while the 25.3 million people who watched the game formed the largest opening week prime time viewership in 14 seasons. Sunday's game was the No.2 most watched prime-time show of all, topped only by the Saints-Vikings opener.
By the way, a rating is the percentage of television sets tuned to a particular program, while the share is the percentage of sets that are actually on at that time and watching a show.
In a little "nanny-nanny boo-boo" between networks, FOX pointed out in its release that its Packers-Eagles game topped the Redskins-Cowboys game by 10 percent in both ratings and audience and that its "The OT" post game show beat NBC's Football Night In America" by 167 percent in their head-to-head meeting. In fairness though, FOX had the lead-in of a fairly closely contested game, while NBC didn't. And NBC's crowing about the big numbers for Sunday night conveniently glosses over the fact that the sampling size is small, considering the network has only had the Sunday package-- which they wrested from ESPN-- for five years and the broadcast prime-time package from ABC.
The bottom line is football ratings are up and in a mighty way.