NFL games accounted for 31 of the 32 most-watched TV shows last fall

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Want to know how much the NFL dominates American culture, consider how much it dominates the television landscape.

According to a release provide by the league, NFL games accounted for 31 of the 32 most-watched TV shows among all programming last fall [The exception: At #23, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on NBC] … For the first time ever, an NFL game was the week’s most-watched TV show in all 17 weeks of the season. … NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ ranked as the most-watched primetime program for the third consecutive fall season averaging 21.4 million viewers. The Week 17 SNF game (Cowboys-Redskins) was the most-watched Sunday primetime game in NFL regular-season history with an average of 30.3 million viewers. …

Sunday late afternoon NFL games continue to draw more viewers than anything on TV. FOX averaged 24.8 million viewers for its Sunday national telecasts and CBS averaged 23.0 million viewers. The FOX and CBS national telecasts and NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’ are the only programs on TV averaging more than 20 million viewers.

NFL games accounted for the 45 most-watched programs on television (since Sept. 5) among adults aged 18-49 – with CBS, FOX, ESPN and NBC each represented on that list.

ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ was the most-watched series on cable for the seventh consecutive year with an average of 12.8 million viewers.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.