NBC Surges on the Strength of NFL Kickoff

Philadelphia, PA.

NBC games mark the first time any network has 25+ million primetime viewers twice in one week since the 2012 London Olympics. Telecasts dominate primetime competition – topping all broadcast nets in viewership and all key demos. The games set NBC Sports Live Extra streaming records for all events other than the olympics and Super Bowl.

NBC’s NFL Kickoff Weekend games – Denver’s 49-27 win over the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday and the Dallas Cowboys’ 36-31 victory over their NFC East rival New York Giants on the debut of Sunday Night Football – each averaged more than 25 million viewers and ranked as primetime television’s two most-watched programs last week, according to official national data released by The Nielsen Company.

The Giants-Cowboys Sunday Night Football opener averaged 25.4 million viewers to rank as primetime television’s most-watched show last week (Sept. 2-8). The Ravens-Broncos Thursday ‘NFL Kickoff’ game was the second-most watched primetime show of the week with an average of 25.1 million viewers. 

With its two NFL telecasts, NBC is the only network to average 25+ million primetime viewers on two nights in one week since the 2012 London Olympics (on NBC in August 2012).

Also notable from NBC’s Week 1 NFL telecasts:

  • The Thursday ‘NFL Kickoff’ game and debut of Sunday Night Football generated the No. 1 and No. 2 primetime ratings of the week on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in every key category – adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

  • NBC’s primetime average in the Adult 18-49 demographic on Sunday beat the primetime averages of ABC, CBS and FOX combined (8.2 A18-49 rating vs. 7.4 A18-49 combined ABC, CBS and FOX). 

  • The Thursday night ‘NFL Kickoff’ game had a national household rating of 14.9/26, the third-highest rated NFL Kickoff game. The debut of Sunday Night Football had a 15.0/24 national household rating, tied for the third-highest rated SNF opener


NBC Sports Live Extra’s live stream of NFL Kickoff and Sunday Night Football generated the two highest-trafficked non-Olympic, non-Super Bowl single-game live streams in NBC Sports Digital history.

Fans consumed nearly 20.5 million minutes of Thursday night’s Ravens-Broncos contest and 11.9 million minutes of Sunday night’s Giants-Cowboys game, which was up 20% vs. last year’s SNF opener. The previous record for an NFL stream was 10.6 million, set last season for the Week 15 49ers-Patriots matchup.

Fans were engaged as they consumed 49.4 and 38.3 minutes per visit for the Thursday and Sunday night games, respectively.

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