TV Ratings: Sunday Night Football Starter Dips a Little From 2015

Patriots and  Cardinals - SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 - Patriots win - H 2016
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Sunday Night Football remained broadcast's unstoppably dominant force in its first weekend matchup of the season, despite some modest fall-off from 2015.

The New England Patriots' narrow victory over the Arizona Cardinals, minus Tom Brady, averaged a 14.8 overnight rating among Nielsen's metered market households. Compared to the most recent opener, a more appealing matchup between the New York Football Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, ratings for the game were down roughly 12 percent.

Thursday's kickoff to the NFL season, also under the banner of NBC's Sunday Night Football, was down by a comparable measure — though not quite as much.

The Cowboys and the Giants did play one another on Sunday. And, thus far, the game ranks as the No. 1 telecast of the NFL season. Fox's midday and early evening coverage of the rivalry match averaged a 16.9 overnight rating. That's a slight improvement from both Thursday's kickoff and the same game's Sunday Night Football showing a year ago.

Fox's NFL ratings win certainly helped its other big offering of the night. Son of Zorn, in its out-of-season sampling, averaged a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 6 million viewers to rank as the top entertainment program of the night. 

On CBS, Big Brother rose to a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49. And, after a lifted Celebrity Family Feud, ABC aired the 2007 Miss America pageant to the tune of a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49. 

More to come...