NFL & NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ Ends Season Up From 2020 & Makes Some TV History In The Process

NFL & NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ Ends Season Up From 2020 & Makes Some TV History In The Process

Just over a month before the Super Bowl kicks off in the Southland. the NFL and NBC are already doing an end zone victory dance.

Capped by the ratings scoring Las Vegas Raiders’ wafer thin 35-32 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on January 9, has once again topped primetime for its latest run.

Now, not much of a surprise on the surface for the powerhouse flagship pro-football show, which has been in the #1 slot for what seems like ages through ups and fumbles. However, with a blockbuster boost from 27.2 million who tuned in for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-17 squeaker over the New England Patriots on October 3, this year pretty much seals the deal for SNF as the most watched show in consecutive years in what is essentially the history of television.

Almost doubling the span of its closest rival American Idol from back in the day, the now 2021-2022 completed SNF is poised to stand as the top dog for the 11th consecutive year.

Or to put in math terms, 18.5 million watched SNF on NBC since the NFL series’ latest debut on September 12 last year. First off, that’s up 10.1% from the limp run of 2020 and its Covid-19 hinderances. Dipping just 7.5% from 2019’s results, this season of SNF was basically on par with 2018 and up a tiny bit from 2017. Among the key 18-49 demo, with a 5.3 average this season, SNF was tops for the 14th year in a row.

To add some perspective in the upper echelons of TV, American Idol ruled for six consecutive seasons from 2005-2006 to 2010-2011 on Fox. Third place is a tie between the five years The Cosby Show reigned supreme from 1985-1986 to 1989-1990 (with a match with Cheers in that last year) on NBC and All in the Familys CBS golden run of 1971-1972 to 1975-1976. Tossing the ball way way back, the fourth spot belongs to Gunsmoke with its wins from 1957-1958 to 1960-1961 on CBS.

This beginning the 21st century and not the Eisenhower era, SNF’s scope obviously extends digitally as well as on linear TV. To that, and with games on NBCUniversal’s streamer Peacock, the total audience delivery for SNF this season was 19.3 million on average. Or, as NBC is more than proud to point out, a rise of 11% from the 17.4 million of last year.

So, with last year’s Super Bowl and its audience of 91.6 million watching on CBS stumbling to a multi-year low, NBC really wants to see you at SoFi Stadium on February 13 … and not just for the rappalooza halftime show of Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg.