Ratings Roundup: More Games Means More Viewers For NFL Network’s TNF Package; MNF Hits Season Low With Jets-Titans

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, SVG

With its newly expanded 13-game slate in the bag, NFL Network reported that it pulled in its largest audience to date for its live Thursday Night Football package. The Network averaged a 4.0 U.S. rating and 6.4 million viewers for the 13-game slate (excluding over-the-air figures). NFL Network has now set a new audience record in four consecutive years. Compared to last year’s numbers, NFL Net saw an 11% ratings jump and a 3% viewership jump. Including over-the-air numbers, NFL Net averaged a 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers. Each Thursday night game on the net earned the distinction of being that day’s most-viewed program on cable…

…Not surprisingly, The lackluster Jets-Titans matchup on “Monday Night Football” drew just a 6.6 U.S. rating and 10.1 million viewers on ESPN, marking the lowest rated (tie) and least-viewed “MNF” telecast of the season. The telecast was down 35% in ratings and 39% in viewership from Steelers/49ers last year (10.1, 16.7M). So far this season, six NFL telecasts on ESPN have drawn a rating of 7.0 or lower, matching the previous two seasons combined…

…Sunday Night Football on NBC, featuring the 49ers 41-34 victory over the Patriots, drew 23.2 million viewers, up 40% from last year’s Week 15 game (Ravens-Chargers, 16.6 million). It is the second most-watched SNF game this season. The household rating of 13.9/22 for Sunday’s game is up 38% from last year’s Week 15 SNF game (10.1/16), and is the third highest-rated SNF game this season. Through 15 weeks, Sunday Night Football on NBC is averaging 21.0 million viewers, tied with 2011 as the second most-watched in SNF’s seven-year history on NBC. The 15-week (17-game) household rating of 12.6/20 is just one percent below last year’s 12.7/20…

…CBS’s NFL national window on Sunday, which featured Steelers/Cowboys in most markets, earned a 16.2 final rating and 26.9 million viewers — down 8% in ratings and 9% in viewership from coverage featuring Patriots/Broncos last year (17.6, 29.7M). Nonetheless, Sunday’s telecast ranks as the fifth-most viewed of the NFL season on any network. Three of the five most-viewed games this season have involved the Cowboys in the featured game…

…As for the NFL on Fox, Sunday’s singleheader window, featuring N.Y. Giants-Atlanta Falcons, earned a 13.8 overnight rating — a 13.8 overnight, down 8%. From last year. The 13.8 overnight was still Fox’s best NFL overnight this season for a Sunday afternoon when it didn’t have doubleheader action…

…NBA TV reported a record-setting year in 2012, posting its most-viewed telecast ever (868,000 total viewers for the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers on the opening night) and a 55% boost in primetime viewership compared to the same period in 2011. The Lakers-Blazers telecast surpassed NBA TV’s previous record set earlier this year when an average of 847,000 total viewers watched the premiere of The Dream Team on June 13, 2012. Overall, NBA TV aired four of its top five most-viewed telecasts of all time in 2012, 796,000 viewers for Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks on May 1, 2012 and 756,000 viewers for Lakers at Clippers on Jan. 14, 2012. (Memphis Grizzlies-San Antonio Spurs playoff game on April 27, 2011 ranks third overall with 835,000 total viewers)