NFL Wrap: Despite Decline, Strong Season For “Sunday Night Football”

Posted by | January 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Despite a record-setting season finale, NBC had slight declines for NFL coverage this year.

Nineteen NFL regular season games averaged a 12.8 rating and 21.4 million viewers on NBC, down a tick in ratings and 1% in viewership from last year (12.9, 21.5M), and down 2% in both measures compared to 2010 (13.0, 21.8M).

NBC aired one extra game this season — the Thanksgiving night game between the Patriots and Jets. The Patriots’ blowout win was the lowest rated NFL telecast of the season on NBC, earning a 10.1 rating. Excluding that game, NBC averaged a 12.9 rating and approximately 21.5 million viewers — on par with last year.

Overall, the 2012 regular season ranks as the third-best for the NFL on NBC since the network resumed airing games in 2006 (seven seasons).

The top game of the season on NBC — or any other network — was Sunday’s Week 17 Dallas/Washington game (17.0, 30.3M). The network’s Steelers/Broncos game in Week 1 (16.5, 27.6M) ranked as the second-highest rated and third-most viewed game of the season.

The lowest rated NBC game of the season was Patriots/Jets on Thanksgiving night (10.1), and the least-viewed was Steelers/Bengals in Week 7 (17.5M).

Ratings/Viewership For NFL on NBC
2012 regular season

WK #
Date
Away
Home
Net
Rating
Viewers
1 Wed., 9/5/12 Cowboys Giants NBC
14.7
23.9M
Sun., 9/9/12 Steelers Broncos NBC
16.5
27.6M
2 Sun., 9/16/12 Lions Niners NBC
12.9
21.3M
3 Sun., 9/23/12 Patriots Ravens NBC
12.9
21.3M
4 Sun., 9/30/12 Giants Eagles NBC
14.1
22.8M
5 Sun., 10/7/12 Chargers Saints NBC
11.2
18.3M
6 Sun., 10/14/12 Packers Texans NBC
11.8
19.9M
7 Sun., 10/21/12 Steelers Bengals NBC
10.7
17.5M
8 Sun., 10/28/12 Saints Broncos NBC
10.7
17.7M
9 Sun., 11/4/12 Cowboys Falcons NBC
13.2
21.8M
10 Sun., 11/11/12 Texans Bears NBC
12.4
20.9M
11 Sun., 11/18/12 Ravens Steelers NBC
11.0
18.2M
12 Thu., 11/22/12 Patriots Jets NBC
10.1
19.2M
Sun., 11/25/12 Packers Giants NBC
12.6
20.9M
13 Sun., 12/2/12 Eagles Cowboys NBC
12.4
20.4M
14 Sun., 12/9/12 Lions Packers NBC
12.8
21.4M
15 Sun., 12/16/12 Niners Patriots NBC
13.9
23.2M
16 Sun., 12/23/12 Niners Seahawks NBC
11.4
19.5M
17 Sun., 12/30/12 Cowboys Washington NBC
17.0
30.3M

(Season averages from NBC Universal Media Village)