NFL vs. ‘Walking Dead’: Football Beats Zombies in the End

NFL wins in key demo

Americans in the key demo still prefer football to zombies — barely.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” pulled off an 8.4 rating in the key 18-49 demographic Sunday against the Season 4 premiere of “The Walking Dead.” But it was close. “Walking Dead” scored an 8.2 — much better than any non-football show this season — and it looked initially like “SNF” wouldn’t crack an 8.

Also read: ‘Walking Dead’ vs. ‘Sunday Night Football’: Can Zombies Beat the NFL?

But live sports are unpredictable, and the Redskins-Cowboys game ultimately beat the walkers in final numbers released Tuesday.

Last season, “The Walking Dead” out-rated every show on television except for “Sunday Night Football” in the demo. It was the first-ever cable show to do so. “SNF,” “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory” did better than “Walking Dead” in total viewers.

This season, it could be a closer race in the demo if “Walking Dead” can hold up its premiere numbers. Last season, it grew significantly from the premiere to the finale.