TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' on Par With 2018 Debut

Early ratings for a lopsided game are up a tiny amount from last season, but off some from NBC's season-opening telecast on Thursday.
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NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast predictably dominated Sunday's primetime ratings, despite a lopsided contest on the field.

The New England Patriots' 33-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers delivered a 14.8 household rating in metered markets, up a scant 3 percent from the same night last year (14.3). The most one-sided week one game in SNF history was down slightly from Thursday's season-opening contest, which scored a 15.3 in the early numbers on its way to 22.1 million viewers in the finals.

In "fast official" ratings, Sunday Night Football delivered 22.2 million viewers, just barely ahead of the 22.12 million who watched on the same night in 2018. Streaming on NBC and NFL digital properties averaged 523,000 viewers (up from 403,000 last year) for a total tune-in of about 22.7 million.

A special edition of The Tonight Show following the game and late local news drew a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.52 million viewers, well above the show's summer averages of 0.4 and 1.85 million.

Fox and CBS also benefited from the first Sunday of NFL games: Fox's late-afternoon contest spilled into primetime and fueled huge gains for its comedy reruns, though those will likely come down some in the finals. On CBS, 60 Minutes had its biggest audience since May (7.7 million viewers), and Big Brother (1.2 rating in adults 18-49, 4.95 million viewers) improved by double digits over last week's 0.9 and 4 million viewers.

ABC's lineup, on the other hand, got sacked by the NFL. The $100,000 Pyramid (0.5) and To Tell the Truth (0.4) both recorded season lows (Celebrity Family Feud aired a rerun).

NBC averaged a 5.2 rating among adults 18-49 in primetime, pending updates for its live NFL broadcast. Fox is currently at 2.7, also pending updates. CBS scored a 0.7 and ABC a 0.5. Telemundo came in at 0.4, and The CW and Univision tied at 0.2.

Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.

Sept. 9, 1:10 p.m. Updated with final ratings for NBC's NFL game and late-night numbers.