- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Tom Brady’s first game against his longtime team drew a huge audience for NBC on Sunday night.
Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-17 win over the New England Patriots delivered the biggest Sunday Night Football audience for NBC since 2015 and is on track to be the second most-watched game in the 15-year history of the franchise.
Final same-day ratings from Nielsen have the game at 26.75 million viewers on NBC. An additional 1.3 million people watched on Peacock and digital and mobile properties for NBC Sports, the NFL, the two teams and Yahoo Sports, per Adobe Analytics. That’s the largest digital audience for any NFL game on NBC (not including Super Bowls).
The final ratings actually came down a little from Nielsen’s preliminary tally of 27.2 million. Adjustments for live events usually go the other way, but occasionally a program ends up slightly lower.
Sunday Night Football has only drawn a bigger audience twice before — a Dec. 30, 2012 game between the Dallas Cowboys that decided the NFC East title averaged 30.3 million viewers, and a week one game in 2015 (also Cowboys-Giants) averaged 26.8 million. Sunday’s game is currently up by a whopping 77 percent over the same week last year (15.08 million viewers). More than a third of TV homes that had their sets on Sunday night watched the game, per Nielsen, the largest share in SNF‘s history.
Elsewhere over the weekend, the season premiere of Saturday Night Live fell off significantly from a year ago. The show drew 4.94 million viewers, down 40 percent from the 8.24 million who watched last season’s debut.
CBS’ 60 Minutes (10.32 million viewers) was the most watched show outside of football on Sunday, and ABC’s Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (4.67 million) and Supermarket Sweep (2.89 million) both improved on their premieres a week earlier.
Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.
Oct. 5, 7:35 a.m. Updated with final ratings for the weekend.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day