December 31, 2012 11:42am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Sets Primetime Ratings Record for NBC
Sunday Night Football went out on an especially high note for NBC, with the matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins earning football's biggest ratings for a primetime regular season game in 15 years.
The game averaged 26.67 million viewers and a 18.3 overnight rating among households. The last game to pull in higher numbers was ABC's 1997 showdown between the Broncos and the 49ers.
In the demo, early returns gave the game a whopping 9.0 rating among adults 18-49. With a 90-minute Football Night in America (4.2 adults rating), NBC averaged a 7.3 rating in the key demo and 21.4 million viewers for the entire night.
Football overrun and animation encores gave Fox a distant second-place finish for the night. The network averaged a 3.7 rating with adults 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers.
CBS, which also started the night with football overrun, had a new episode of 60 Minutes (1.5 adults) followed by encores. The network averaged a 1.1 with adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers.
Airing an America's Funniest Home Videos repeat and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, ABC netted a 0.9 adults rating and 3.5 million viewers.