NBC Posts Best-Ever Kickoff Weekend Viewership For 'NFL Kickoff' and Debut Of 'Sunday Night Football'
NBC averages record 27.1M viewers for NFL Kickoff Weekend – up 6% from last year and topping by 700,000 viewers the prior record set in 2011.
NBC averaged a record 27.1 million viewers for its two NFL Kickoff Weekend games – New England’s 28-21 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday, and Dallas’ come-from-behind 27-26 victory over the New York Giants on the debut of Sunday Night Football – up 6 percent from last year and topping by 700,000 viewers the prior record set in 2011 (26.4 million average for Saints-Packers and Cowboys-Jets) according to official national data released by The Nielsen Company.
NBC has averaged more than 25 million viewers on NFL Kickoff Weekend (two-game average) for six consecutive seasons. Through the first two games, NBC Sunday Night Football is averaging a 15.8 U.S. HH rating and a 10.2 rating among Adults 18-49 – up 6 percent and 5 percent respectively from last year.
The Cowboys’ victory over the Giants, highlighted by Tony Romo’s 11-yard scoring pass to Jason Witten with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, averaged 26.8 million viewers to rank as the second-most watched Sunday Night Football opener ever (27.6 million for Pittsburgh-Denver in 2012 as Peyton Manning made his Broncos’ debut). Giants-Cowboys viewership was also up 13 percent from last year’s SNF opener (23.8 million for Colts-Broncos).
Also notable from NBC’s Week 1 NFL telecasts:
Sunday’s Giants-Cowboys telecast (8:31-11:46 p.m. ET) posted a 15.4/27 household rating – up 10 percent from last year’s opener (14.0/23).
Sunday night’s game was the second-most watched Giants-Cowboys primetime matchup in the history of the People Meter (since 1987). In 15 primetime meetings since 1987, the only Giants-Cowboys game with more viewers was the 2011 season-ending, win-and-in Week 17 matchup (27.6 million).
Thursday’s Pittsburgh-New England game averaged 27.4 million viewers to rank as the second-most watched "NFL Kickoff" game in the 14-year history of the event.
NBC’s Thursday/Sunday primetime average in the Adult 18-49 demographic beat by 154 percent the combined primetime averages of ABC, CBS and FOX on those nights (8.9 A18-49 rating vs. 3.5 A18-49 combined ABC, CBS and FOX).
NBC Sports Live Extra’s presentation of Giants-Cowboys on Sunday, which required authentication, ranks as NBC Sports Digital’s most-consumed authenticated event of all-time (excluding Olympics) with 19.6 million live streamed minutes and 380,000 unique users. In addition:
Behind the Olympics and the Super Bowl, Thursday night’s unauthenticated NFL Kickoff game (more than 32 million minutes) was NBC Sports Live Extra’s most streamed event ever.
Through two games, the 2015 NFL season has delivered 52 million live minutes and 831,000 unique users on NBC Sports Live Extra, up 20 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from 2014. SNF continues this Sunday, Sept. 20, with an NFC Championship Game rematch, as the Green Bay Packers host the Seattle Seahawks.
Photo: AP Images