Ratings: CBS Tops ABC in Battle of Pre-Christmas Specials – Both Still Sacked by NFL Football

NFL overrun boosted Fox to second in the demo and viewers, despite airing “Masked Singer” repeats

Last Updated: December 23, 2019 @ 10:47 AM

Network TV is feeling the pre-Christmas lull, with ABC and CBS airing competing specials on a slow Sunday night, with CBS coming out on top between the two. But of course, it’s still football season and that meant that they were both no match for pigskin action.

As per usual on Sundays, the NFL ruled primetime. NBC finished first and Fox, which had the afternoon’s football overrun, was second. Due to the nature of live sports, the below fast-affiliate Nielsen numbers for NBC and Fox should be considered subject to significant adjustment.

NBC was first in ratings with a 3.2 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 12.3 million, according to preliminary numbers. Those were the averages of NBC Sports’ 90-minute pregame show, “Football Night in America,” and the Kansas City Chiefs-Chicago Bills game itself.

Fox finished with a 2.4 rating with a pair of “Masked Singer” repeats.

CBS aired a holiday-themed “Price is Right” at 8 p.m. and its annual “Home for the Holidays” at 9 p.m. ABC’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was the only regularly scheduled original to run Sunday, followed by the two-hour news program “The Year: 2019.” CBS (0.5) edged out ABC (0.4) for third. The disparity was wider among total viewers, with CBS finishing with just over 4 million, while ABC got 2.6 million viewers.

For CBS, “Price is Right” drew a 0.7 and 5.4 million total viewers, while “Home for the Holidays” got a 0.3 rating and 2.4 million viewers. At 7 p.m., “60 Minutes” received a 0.6 and 6.1 million viewers.

ABC’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things” got a 0.4 and 2.4 million viewers, with the news special “The Year: 2019” finishing with a 0.4 and 2.9 million viewers.

The CW finished with a 0.1 rating and 478,000 total viewers, airing back-to-back episodes of “Christmas Caroler Challenge.” Both hours drew a 0.1 in the demo, with the 8 p.m. hour getting 511,000 viewers and the 9 p.m. hour garnering 445,000 viewers.

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