The NFL’s strategy of putting a winner-take-all game on the last Sunday night of the regular season is a successful one. Last night’s Dallas-Washington game for the NFC East title turned out to be the highest-rated primetime game in the history of NBC’s Sunday night package. It’s also the highest-rated primetime game on any network over the last 15 years.
It drew an amazing 18.3 overnight rating with a 30 share which is 7% higher than last year’s Week 17 game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys also was a winner-take-all game for the NFC East.
For NBC, it’s the highest-rated game of the season outpacing the Week 1 contest between Pittsburgh and Denver which had an 18.0/29.
In addition, Washington, DC had its highest overnight rating ever for a primetime game dating back to 1987. Richmond, Norfolk and Dallas round up the top four local markets for the game.
Here’s the NBC announcement.
18.3/30 Tops ALL Sunday Night Football Broadcasts Plus All Other NBC Primetime NFL Games
Best NFL Regular-Season Primetime Overnight on ANY Network in 15 Years
Best Overnight for any Cowboys-Redskins Primetime Matchup in 19 Years
Washington D.C. Market Drew 44.6/68 Rating, Best Ever for NFL Regular-Season Primetime Game (Since Nielsen People Meters in 1987)
NEW YORK – December 31, 2012 – Last night’s Cowboys-Redskins game on Sunday Night Football is the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC, and the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game on ANY network in 15 years, according to overnight data released today by The Nielsen Company. The game also generated the best overnight rating for any Cowboys-Redskins primetime matchup in 19 years. The Washington D.C. market had its best rating ever for a primetime NFL game.
Sunday’s game on NBC, in which the Redskins defeated the Cowboys, 28-18, to win the NFC East, drew an 18.3 overnight rating and a 30 share, seven percent higher than last year’s Week 17 game (Cowboys-Giants 17.1/27), which was also a win-and-in game to determine the winner of the NFC East. Last night’s game topped the previous-best NFL regular-season primetime overnight on NBC (18.0/29 for the 2012 Week 1 matchup between the Steelers and Broncos).
Other Ratings Notes:
- The Washington D.C market has its best overnight rating (44.6/68) for a regular-season primetime game in the history of Nielsen People Meters (since 1987), topping the previous high of 43.0/63 for Cowboys-Redskins, Sept. 6, 1993 on ABC).
- Best overnight rating for any regular-season primetime game on ANY network in 15 years (Broncos-49ers, 19.3/30, Dec. 15, 1997 on ABC).
- Best overnight rating for an NFL primetime regular-season final game in 18 years (19.6/33 for 49ers-Vikings, Dec. 26, 1994 on ABC).
- Best overnight for a Cowboys-Redskins primetime matchup in 19 years (20.7/34 on Sept 6, 1993 on ABC).
NOTE: Official national ratings and viewership will be available on Thursday.
BEST OVERNIGHT NFL REGULAR-SEASON PRIMETIME GAMES ON NBC:
Steelers- Broncos, 9/9/12
* NFL Kickoff Games
TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR COWBOYS-REDSKINS:
1. Washington D.C.
T5. San Antonio
T9. New Orleans
That’s it for this post.