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‘Sunday Night Football’ Delivers Best Viewership Totals Since 2015 for NBC

Sunday Night Football on NBC averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 21.4 million viewers in 2023, the show’s best since 2015 and up 8 percent from 2022.

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Sunday Night Football NBC

Yet another NFL broadcast partner is posting record highs, this time it’s NBC posting its best viewership numbers since 2015. Its Sunday Night Football block is also trending toward being the most-watched primetime program for the 13th straight year.

Sunday Night Football averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 21.4 million viewers for the 2023 season – the show’s best viewership since 2015 and up 8 percent from last season (19.9 million), according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

Six SNF  games topped 25 million viewers, matching 2013 for the most since NBC took over Sunday nights in 2006. The six games are listed below, along with the date and average viewers across NBC, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital and NFL Digital.

Game, DateAvg. Viewers
Detroit Lions-Kansas City Chiefs, 9/727.5 million
Kansas City Chiefs-New York Jets, 10/126.7 million
Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys, 12/1026.5 million
San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks, 11/2326.4 million
Dallas Cowboys-San Francisco 49ers, 10/826.3 million
Kansas City Chiefs-Green Bay Packers, 12/325.4 million

“With the thrilling Lions-Chiefs opener drawing the largest NFL Kickoff Game audience since 2015, back-to-back early October blockbusters with more than 26 million viewers apiece, our first-ever Peacock exclusive NFL game, and last Sunday’s finale for the AFC East title, the 2023 Sunday Night Football season was a success from the opening kickoff to the final whistle,” said Rick Cordella, President, NBC Sports. “With a best-in-class presentation and our record-setting 13 years at #1 in primetime, we are looking forward to the postseason, which begins with three Wild Card matchups on NBCUniversal platforms and features Peacock’s Saturday night presentation of the NFL’s first-ever exclusive live-streamed playoff game. It’s been a historic season for the NFL and NBCUniversal.”

Key Demos and Metrics for NBC

Sunday Night Football topped all primetime shows in average viewership and household rating and for the 16th consecutive season ranked number 1 among adults 18-49. In addition, SNF posted nine of the top 13 primetime shows this fall.

Category2023vs. 2022Primetime Rank
Average Viewers19.9 million+6%#1
HH Rating10.2+4%#1
Adult 18-49 Rating5.4+6%#1
Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Data, 9/7/23-1/7/24

Three NBC SNF games averaged at least nine million female viewers (Nielsen only) – the most in a season since 2015.  The 49ers-Seahawks Thanksgiving night game led with 10 million female viewers, followed by Chiefs-Jets at 9.4 million, and Cowboys-49ers at 9.0 million. In total, SNF averaged 7.1 million female (2+) viewers in 2023, marking the series’ best season in the demographic since 2019.

In addition, women accounted for 38 percent of the audience for Chiefs-Jets, which is the second-highest percentage in the 18-season history of NBC SNF (excluding holiday games), behind only Washington-Dallas on Dec. 26, 2021 (38.4 percent).

‘Football Night in America’ Metrics

NBC’s Football Night in America (FNIA) studio show averaged 7.5 million viewers, the most-watched season of FNIA since 2016 and up 3 percent from last year.  FNIA continues its reign as sports’ most-watched weekly studio show for the 18th consecutive year since the show debuted in 2006.

In addition, the 8-8:23 p.m. ET portion of Football Night in America (including pre-kick coverage), averaged 13.1 million viewers, and a 3.4 rating among Adults 18-49, which would rank No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, among regularly-scheduled primetime shows in the demographic.

Peacock Metrics

NBC Sports Digital hit another viewership milestone for Sunday Night Football in 2023 led by Peacock, delivering a full-season Average Minute Audience (AMA) above 1.5 million viewers (1.56 million) for the first time across Peacock, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and NFL Digital properties – up 33 percent from the prior record (1.17 million) set last year.

The streaming audience has grown such that NBC Sports Digital’s AMA of 1.56 million viewers for SNF tops the primetime average (8:30-11:30 p.m. ET) of all cable networks over the 19 FNIA nights this season (excludes Sat., Dec. 23 show, which was at 3 p.m. ET).

Peacock’s first-ever exclusive NFL game on Saturday, Dec. 23 between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers delivered the night’s largest primetime audience, averaging 7.3 million viewers.

In addition to the record-setting AMA for the season, three games topped the two million mark (which had never previously been reached by a regular-season NBC Sports simulstream), and the eight most simulstreamed regular-season games in NBC Sports’ NFL history came this season.

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Jac Collinsworth Out as NBC Voice of Notre Dame Football

NBC will alternate between their new top team of Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge or Dan Hicks and Jason Garrett, depending on the game.

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Jac Collinsworth, Jason Garrett
Courtesy: NBC

According to Andrew Marchand of The Athletic, Jac Collinsworth will no longer serve as the play-by-play voice of Notre Dame football games for NBC. The younger Collinsworth, who graduated from Notre Dame in 2017, served as the lead voice for Fighting Irish football games on NBC for two years.

Marchand says that starting next season, NBC’s team of Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge will assume number one college football commentator duties. Internally, NBC execs enjoyed the duo’s calls of NFL and Big Ten football games and wanted to “reward” them with a larger stage. However, Marchand confirms that the pair will still call primetime Big Ten games but will be moved to the Notre Dame call if the network feels the Fighting Irish game of the week is a bigger draw.

Fans of Jason Garrett will be happy to know the former Cowboys coach will still be on the call for other Notre Dame games, now alongside longtime NBC voice Dan Hicks.

All is not lost for Collinsworth, though. Jac will still be part of the Football Night in America team and call college football games on Peacock. Collinsworth was also a voice for the network’s USFL coverage but that will no longer be an option following the league’s merger with the XFL.

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Craig Carton Doubles Down On Philadelphia Eagles Report After Adam Schefter Denial

“I texted someone in the organization yesterday, and the text I got back was, ‘None of that ‘S’ happened.’”

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Craig Carton and Adam Schefter
Caraig Carton Courtesy of FS1, Adam Schefter courtesy of ESPN

Craig Carton put out a mysterious report surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles that was shot down by prominent ESPN reporter Adam Schefter. Now, Carton, the current FS1 and former WFAN voice has doubled down on his story.

During the Feb. 20 episode of The Carton Show, Carton said that the Eagles’ collapse was due to, “a problem that would splinter any group of men. It is a real significant problem, and it can not be fixed,” but did not go into any sort of detail.

Schefter, ever the journalist, reached out to a source within the Eagles organization, who immediately denounced the story. During an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s The John Kinkaid Show, Schefter said, “I texted someone in the organization yesterday, and the text I got back was, ‘None of that ‘S’ happened.’” Carton immediately started backpedaling via his X account.

Carton also spoke to The New York Post, telling the news outlet, “Considering I never said what the situation was, what exactly are the Eagles denying? I don’t know what the Eagles are denying. Just because the team is denying something and saying it didn’t happen, we should believe them?” The former WFAN host then accuses Schefter of contacting Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and again asks what was being denied because of Carton’s vague original report.

He then retweeted a post from JAKIB Sports reporter Derrick Gunn, saying that there was some internal strife within the Eagles last season. However, nothing Gunn reported seemingly matched the level of dysfunction that Carton speculated.

Today’s episode of The Carton Show also featured Eagles talk, echoing the same sentiments that Carton mentioned to The Post without offering much in the way of news.

Until Carton or another sports media member reveals exactly what went on behind the scenes, Eagles fans will just have to hope for a more positive season in 2024.

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ESPN Broadcast of Rangers-Islanders Stadium Series Game Is Its Most-Viewed NHL Regular Season Game Since 2021

The Stadium Series game between the Rangers and Islanders averaged 1.6 million viewers, the most for a regular season game since the league returned in 2021.

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The NHL on ESPN got a major win under its belt with news that the Sunday, Feb. 18 Stadium Series matchup between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders amassed about 1.6 million viewers, the most for a regular season game since the league returned to the Worldwide Leader in 2021. It was also the most-watched Stadium Series game overall since 2019. The Sunday night broadcast peaked at 2.38 million viewers, an increase of 31 percent vs. last year’s Stadium Series game.

Combined with the Saturday night tilt between the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers, both games averaged 1.37 million total viewers and 448,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic – both figures up 21 percent from last year’s Stadium Series game. Flyers/Devils averaged 1.13 million total viewers and 401,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic, which was flat and up 8 percent versus last year’s Stadium Series. The game’s audience peaked at 1.38 million viewers.

The NHL announced that 9.4 million people across the North American continent tuned into the 16 NHL games that took place across Saturday and Sunday.

Like most sports, NHL viewership has gone up this year — both locally and nationally. Local channel viewership figures are up three percent across the board, while NHL viewership on ESPN is up 40 percent compared to last year.

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