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Live sports telecasts typically get only negligible ratings boosts with delayed viewing, as virtually everyone who watches does so as the game airs.
The Nov. 11 edition of ESPN’s Monday Night Football was decidedly atypical, finishing among the top 20 shows in adults 18-49 gain over three days. The game, a 27-24 overtime win for the Seattle Seahawks over the San Francisco 49ers, drew Monday Night Football‘s biggest audience of the season in both the same-day and three-day ratings.
The ESPN broadcast added half a point to its 18-49 rating, the same as NBC’s The Good Place and ahead of shows including NBC’s The Blacklist and CBS’ Survivor. The game also grew by 1.1 million viewers.
Both figures are outliers for live sports. For the past eight weeks, Monday Night Football has added an average of 0.3 to its 18-49 rating and 651,000 total viewers over three days; the Nov. 11 gains are 67 percent and 69 percent above that average. The fact that two West Coast teams were involved — meaning that most of the game aired outside of primetime in their home markets — could be a factor in the larger-than-usual gains. So could its unusually long running time of just under four hours.
The other primetime NFL franchises, Fox’s Thursday Night Football and NBC’s Sunday Night Football, grow by only 1 percent each over three days.
Below are the top 20 shows (including ties) in three-day ratings gains among adults 18-49 and total viewers for the week of Nov. 11-17.
|Change from live + SD||% change from live + SD|
|This Is Us||NBC||2.49||1.13||83%|
|American Horror Story||FX||1.3||0.8||160%|
|The Masked Singer||Fox||2.36||0.72||44%|
|The Walking Dead||AMC||1.84||0.72||64%|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||1.38||0.69||99%|
|The Good Doctor||ABC||1.48||0.65||79%|
|A Million Little Things||ABC||1.45||0.65||80%|
|The Good Place||NBC||1.1||0.5||83%|
|Monday Night Football||ESPN||5.59||0.5||10%|
|The Real Housewives of O.C.||Bravo||0.92||0.46||100%|
|Show||Network||Live-plus-3 viewers (000s)||Change from live + SD||% change from live + SD|
|The Good Doctor||ABC||9,671||3,741||63%|
|This Is Us||NBC||10,648||3,548||50%|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||6,319||2,525||67%|
|NCIS: New Orleans||CBS||8,791||2,381||37%|
|A Million Little Things||ABC||6,823||2,258||49%|
|The Masked Singer||Fox||7,716||2,137||38%|
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