The New England Patriots ruined the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Sunday night — but not NBC’s. Despite a totally one-sided “Sunday Night Football” opener — Patriots 33, Steelers 3 — NBC dominated its broadcast TV competition in last night’s Nielsen ratings.
Due to the nature of live sports, the below fast-national numbers for NBC and Fox should be considered unstable and subject to significant adjustment. Any changes won’t change who won the evening, however.
According to Nielsen’s earlier-available overnight ratings, which cover a smaller smattering of markets but are adjusted for time zones, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” opener performed 3% better than last year.
NBC was first in ratings with a 5.2 rating/22 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 15.7 million, according to preliminary numbers. In addition to the game, those also count 90 minutes worth of pregame coverage.
Fox was second in ratings with a 2.7/11 and in viewers with 8.3 million. An overrun of postgame show “The OT” at 7 p.m. scored a 5.1/23 and 15.7 million viewers. Reruns followed.
CBS was third in ratings with a 0.7/3 and in viewers with 4.5 million. Between repeats, “Big Brother” at 8 put up a 1.2/5 and 4.9 million viewers.
ABC was fourth in ratings with a 0.5/2 and in viewers with 3.4 million. “The $100,000 Pyramid” at 9 had a 0.5/2 and 3.4 million viewers. At 10, “To Tell the Truth” got a 0.4/2 and 1.2 million viewers.
Telemundo was fifth in ratings with a 0.4/2 and in viewers with 1.2 million.
Univision was sixth in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 813,000.
The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.1/1 and in viewers with 639,000, airing all reruns.