(Info coming in with news on the Thursday NFL Nielsen Ratings, from the LA Times.com)
TV audience for Thursday’s NFL opener on NBC was down 13% from 2019
A lopsided win by the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and competition from other sports resulted in an audience drop for the NFL’s season opener Thursday on NBC.
The game averaged 19.3 million TV viewers, according to Nielsen data, a decline of nearly 13% compared with last year when 22.1 million viewers watched the Green Bay Packers open the season against the Minnesota Vikings.
NBC said an additional 977,000 million viewers were watching on streaming platforms, which bumped the total audience up to 20.3 million.
The TV audience is also expected be higher when out-of-home viewing is factored in. Nielsen is including those figures in its TV viewing data for the first time this season. NBC’s telecast of the Kentucky Derby saw a 12% lift when out-of-home viewing was added.
The NFL has an unusual amount of competition for sports viewers’ attention this season, as the league is up against the NBA playoffs and the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Both leagues had their seasons shut down for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed action in late July, and both played games Thursday night, further dividing the viewing audience.
In addition, Major League Baseball, with its shortened season, is already in pennant race mode and has been drawing larger audiences than last season.
**************************The NFL ruled the Sunday, September 13 primetime broadcast, with NBC’s broadcast of the Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams winning the night by a huge margin. Sunday Night Football grabbed a 4.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and 15.2 million viewers in overnight numbers (which will likely shift once final numbers are in later on Monday). This was a big drop from last year’s SNF start on September 8, 2019, when New England and Pittsburgh played and brought in 22.2 million viewers.
While the night was football-heavy (including the overrun from Fox’s broadcast of the Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans game in the early part of the night), CBS’ 60 Minutes took in 7.7 million viewers (and a 0.9 rating) with its Bob Woodward interview about the acclaimed journalist’s new book Rage on President Trump. Also, the Eye Network’s Big Brother fell behind a Season 4 preview of Fox’s mystery singer competition series, The Masked Singer, in both the demo and total viewers.***************************