TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Logs a Low Against Presidential Debate

NBC coverage remains remarkably steady against wall-to-wall coverage — though it's still down.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Sunday Night Football may be down, but NBC was likely better-served by airing the big game in lieu of the second debate. The rematch between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won't be matching the record highs from two weeks ago.

Early returns for the game between the New York Football Giants and the Green Bay Packers, however, are reasonably steady. Though keeping in line with the softer showings from the primetime NFL flagship this season, the 10.2 overnight rating among Nielsen's metered market households is only down 7 percent from the game the week before. Still, it's a season low for broadcast's biggest series.

CBS will lock a nightly win, at least among total viewers, in final returns. Not only did its coverage of the second debate top Sunday Night Footballby a tiny margin, Nielsen's Fast Affiliate returns have the network starting the night with robust NFL overrun of its own and a strong 60 Minutes. The news magazine nearly doubled its showing among adults 18-49 from a week ago, earning a 2.6 rating in the key demo.

The only other counter-programming for the night went to Fox's animation block and ABC's Once Upon a Time.

Prior to debate interruptions, The Simpsons earned a live-plus-same day 1.5 rating among adults 18-49, while Bob's Burgers fetched a 1.2 rating in the key demo.

Once Upon a Time also perked up from a week ago, averaging a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49.

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