The NFL topped 25 million viewers for the seventh time in eight weeks Sunday afternoon, one year after hitting that mark just nine times during the entire season.
Sunday’s Week 8 NFL national window, featuring Vikings/Patriots in most markets, earned a 15.2 final rating and 25.221 million viewers on FOX — down 13% in ratings and 15% in viewership from last year (MIN/GB*: 17.4, 29.820 mil), but up 10% and 13%, respectively, from Week 8 in 2008 (NYG/PIT*: 13.8, 22.300 mil).
This is the second time in as many weeks — and just the second time all season — that ratings have declined for the NFL national window.
Last year’s national window featured Brett Favre making his first return to Green Bay, a story that generated far more hype than this year’s return of Randy Moss to New England.
On a more positive note, this marks the seventh time this season that an NFL telecast has drawn at least 25 million viewers. Nine telecasts all of last season hit that mark, and only three did so during the 2008-09 season.
Despite their 2-5 record, the last three Vikings games have each drawn at least 25 million — their Week 6 matchup against the Cowboys on FOX (15.7, 25.980 mil), their Week 7 matchup against the Packers on NBC (15.4, 25.675 mil), and Sunday’s telecast (15.2, 25.221 mil).
Overall, the Vikings have been one of the featured teams in four of the seven most-viewed NFL telecasts this season.
Sunday’s telecast easily outdrew Sunday Night Football on NBC (10.7, 18.106 mil), a return to form after SNF topped the national window last week.
The game also easily outdrew Sunday’s World Series Game 4 on FOX (9.0, 15.537 mil). Among adults 18-49, the national window more than doubled the World Series game (9.0 to 4.3).
Asterisk (*) indicates featured game of window.