The NFL Network which had a very good week last week when it had both of the NFL’s undefeated teams playing got some even more good news in the Nielsen cable primetime ratings. It found that the Dallas Cowboys-New Orleans Saints game last Saturday beat out the usual heavy hitters, ESPN, USA Network and Disney Channel. That is no small accomplishment.
NFL NETWORK TOPS PRIMETIME CABLE RATINGS FOR WEEKCowboys-Saints Viewership Tops Other Sports’ 2009 Playoffs on CableNFL.com Has Best Week EverSpecial Christmas Night Game – Chargers vs. Titans Friday at 7:00 PM ETNFL Network earned the highest average primetime cable rating among all ad-supported cable networks last week (Dec. 14-20), led by a pair of exciting “Unbeaten Week” Thursday Night Football games – Indianapolis-Jacksonville and Dallas-New Orleans.NFL Network averaged a 2.77 primetime cable rating, ahead of ESPN’s 2.18 and USA’s 2.15. In addition, the 2.77 was the highest weekly average in NFL Network’s history, topping the previous best 2.31 for the week of Dec. 15-21, 2008.Last Saturday’s Cowboys-Saints game on NFL Network posted a 12.0 cable rating – the third-highest cable rating of any program in 2009 (behind two ESPN MNF games, which are the two most-watched cable shows in history). NFL Network’s Thursday night Colts-Jaguars contest earned an 8.0 cable rating and is the network’s fourth-highest rated game of all-time.Following are the five highest-rated cable networks in primetime last week:Highest-Rated Cable Networks in Primetime, Week of Dec. 14-20, 2009
Cable Network Cable Rating NFL Network 2.77 ESPN 2.18 USA 2.15 Nickelodeon 2.02 Disney 1.71Source: Nielsen Media Research, NFLN (8PM-11PM ET coverage area ratings; 12/14-12/20/09)
Cowboys-Saints drew 10.5 million cable viewers, topping cable’s most-watched 2009 playoff games in other sports (chart below). Including fans watching on over-the-air stations in Dallas and New Orleans, 12.1 million viewers tuned in on Saturday night.Cowboys-Saints on NFLN vs. Most-Watched Cable Playoff Game by Sport, 2009
Game, Network Viewers Cowboys-Saints, NFL Network 10.5 million NBA Conf. Finals Game 4 (Magic-Cavs), TNT 10.1 million MLB NLCS Game 5 (Phillies-Dodgers), TNT 8.0 million NHL Stanley Cup Game 4 (Red Wings-Penguins), Versus 3.4 millionFor the week ending Sunday, Dec. 20, NFL.com posted its best week ever, setting records in unique users, visitors, time on site and video streams. In addition, NFL.com set a single-day record for video streams on Saturday, Dec. 19.NFL Network wraps up its Thursday Night Football schedule with a special matchup on Christmas night Friday, Dec. 25 at 7:00 PM ET between the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans. The teams have posted a combined 15-1 record over the past eight games – the top mark for any NFL December game in four years (Seattle vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 24, 2005).
This might close out the night for me. I’ll see if I have anything else newsworthy to post before I close my eyes.