Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


SNF No. 1 in Primetime in Viewership & HH Rating

SNF Wins Key Adult 18-49 Demo for 5th Consecutive TV Season

SNF Dominates Head-to-Head Sunday Competition

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 12, 2015 – For the fourth consecutive television season, NBC’s Sunday Night Football will finish as television’s No. 1 primetime show in household rating and viewership when the 2014-15 TV season concludes next Wednesday, based on live plus same day data from The Nielsen Company (September-May).  This marks the only four times on record that a sports series has been the highest-rated and most-watched show of the primetime TV season.

In addition, SNF will rank No. 1 in primetime in the coveted Adult 18-49 demographic and across all key male demos, while also handily defeating its head-to-head competition in these categories in the Sunday 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. hours.

For the 2014-15 primetime television season, Sunday Night Football ranks as the highest-rated (12.5 HH rating) and most-watched show (21.3 million, viewers 2+), and the No. 1 program in the advertiser-coveted Adult 18-49 demographic (7.7).

In addition, 12 SNF games averaged at least 20 million viewers. During the NFL postseason (not included in SNF season average), NBC televised Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015, which became the most-watched program in U.S. television history (114.4 million viewers), and the AFC Wild Card game in primetime on January 3, 2015 (27.9 million viewers for Baltimore-Pittsburgh).

Following is a look at primetime telecasts averaging at least 20 million viewers from Sept. 1, 2014 – May 10, 2015 (based on live plus same day data, excluding pre- and post-game shows):

Program # of Primetime Telecasts With 20 Million Viewers
Sunday Night Football 12
NFL Postseason Games* 4 (2 on NBC)
NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (Semifinal & Final) 2
BCS Playoffs (Semifinal & Final) 2
Thursday Night Football 2
The Blacklist (post-Super  Bowl) 1
SNL: 40th Anniversary 1
Academy Awards 1
Grammy Awards 1
World Series 1

*Four NFL postseason games in primetime: Super Bowl XLIX (NBC), AFC Championship Game (CBS), NFC Divisional Playoff (FOX), AFC Wild Card Playoff (NBC)

Also notable from the 2014-15 TV season (based on live plus same day data through May 10):

  • The 21.3 million average viewers for Sunday Night Football — despite the most lopsided games in the history of the NBC primetime package (since 2006) — tops primetime’s No 2. show (Thursday Night Football; 16.7 million viewers) by more than 4.5 million viewers;
  • In the advertiser-coveted Adult 18-49 demographic, Sunday Night Football ranks as the No. 1 show for the fifth consecutive TV season and tops the second place show by 4% (7.7 vs. 7.4 for The Walking Dead) (see head-to-head notes below);
  • The 2010-14 seasons of Sunday Night Football are the first five consecutive seasons that an NFL primetime package drew more than 21 million viewers since the 1992-1996 seasons of Monday Night Football on ABC;


In the two full primetime hours of Sunday Night Football – 9-10 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. – NBC’s SNF has been dominant in head-to-head competition against all other shows in the LIVE metric, reflecting viewer choice at that moment.

Following are the top four regularly-scheduled programs in HH rating and Adult 18-49 rating in each of those head-to-head hours in the fall TV season (LIVE ratings, Sept.-Dec. 2014):

9 p.m. hour – U.S. Household Rating

Program HH Rating SNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football 12.6
Madam Secretary 7.1 77%
The Good Wife 5.8 117%
The Walking Dead 4.9 157%

9 p.m. hour – Adult 18-49 Rating

Program Adult 18-49 Rating SNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football 7.5
The Walking Dead 4.7 60%
Family Guy 2.1 257%
Madam Secretary 1.4 436%

10 p.m. hour – U.S. Household Rating

Program HH Rating  SNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football 11.6
The Good Wife 5.9 97%
The Mentalist 5 132%
CSI 4.7 147%

10 p.m. hour – Adult 18-49 Rating

Program Adult 18-49 Rating SNF Advantage
Sunday Night Football 7.1
The Talking Dead 2.2 223%
The Good Wife 1.1 545%
The Mentalist 1.1 545%

While final live plus seven data for the broadcast TV season will not be available for a few weeks, according to Nielsen’s most current data stream (with live plus seven through April 26), Sunday Night Football leads the No. 2 primetime show in the following metrics:

  • Average Viewership – Sunday Night Football averaged 21.5 million viewers, more than 1.5 million above the 19.9 million for The Walking Dead (season complete for both shows).
  • Household Rating – Sunday Night Football posted a 12.6 HH rating, topping the 11.6 for NCIS and Big Bang Theory.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit