Facing little original competition, “Sunday Night Football” drew prime-television’s largest audience since Nov. 22, despite a one-sided victory by the Green Bay Packers, helping NBC to its seventh victory in the 14-week-old 2020-21 season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Wednesday by Nielsen.
The Packers’ 40-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans averaged 18.374 million viewers, the most since the Kansas City Chiefs’ 35-31 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on “Sunday Night Football” Nov. 22 averaged 19.573 million viewers.
“Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched prime-time program for the ninth consecutive week. Viewership was up 17.7% over the previous week, the Cleveland Browns’ 20-6 victory over the New York Giants that averaged 15.61 million viewers.
Opposite “Sunday Night Football,” CBS aired reruns of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans” and “NCIS.” Fox aired the premiere of “The Masked Dancer,” its winter preview and a rerun of “Family Guy.”
ABC aired reruns of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and two reruns of “Supermarket Sweep.”
With little original non-sports programming as is the Christmas Week tradition, the season finale of “The Bachelorette” was the most-watched entertainment program, averaging 5.552 million viewers, 10th overall, second among non-sports programs.
Topping the ABC dating series were three NFL games, three NFL pregame shows, Fox’s NFL postgame show, “The OT”; a broadcast of CBS’ “60 Minutes” with three repeat segments and the Lakers-Dallas Mavericks Christmas Day game on ABC.
The week’s second-most watched entertainment program was “The Price is Right at Night,” 11th for the week and third among non-sports programs, averaging 5.4 million viewers.
NBC was the most-watched network for the seventh time in the season after back-to-back second-place finishes, averaging 4.72 million viewers between Dec. 21 and Sunday. ABC was second, averaging 3.3 million, followed by CBS, which averaged 3.12 million and Fox, which averaged 2.95 million viewers for its 15 hours, 12 minutes of prime-time programming.
NBC, CBS and ABC all aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Outside of its NFL programming, NBC’s most-watched program was its Christmas Eve presentation of the classic 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 14th for the week, seventh among non-sports programs and sixth among entertainment programs, averaging 4.75 million viewers.
ABC’s most-watched program was the Lakers’ 138-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, ninth for the week averaging 5.674 million viewers.
Fox’s most-watched non-NFL program was Sunday’s premiere of “The Masked Dancer,” which averaged 5.12 million viewers, 12th for the week, fourth among non-sports programs and third among entertainment programs.
“The Masked Dancer” followed a 47-minute runover over Fox’s afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones, and its 13-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT.” Viewership figures for the runover were not immediately available. “The OT” averaged 10.99 million viewers, third for the week.
The most-watched cable program was the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-17 upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Dec. 21, averaging 13.184 million viewers, third for the week.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network after back-to-back second-place finishes, averaging 2.763 million viewers. Fox News Channel second after finishing first the previous two weeks and 45 times in 48 weeks, averaging 2.382 million viewers. ESPN was second, averaging 1.801 million viewers. MSNBC was third, averaging 1.562 million.
For the second consecutive week, an episode of the Univision telenovela “Vencer el desamor” was the most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program, with the Monday episode averaging 1.728 million viewers, 55th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 56th consecutive week and 58th time in 59 weeks, averaging 1.09 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 880,000, followed by UniMas (410,000), Estrella TV (140,000) and Azteca America (60,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 56th consecutive week, the 107th time in 108 weeks and the 159th time in 161 weeks, averaging 9.756 million viewers for its Monday through Wednesday newscasts.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.963 million viewers for its Monday through Wednesday newscasts, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 5.741 million viewers for its Monday and Tuesday newscasts.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and its nine-minute pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; Fox’s 13-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT”; the 21-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; the NFL Network’s coverage of Saturday’s Miami Dolphins-Las Vegas Raiders game; CBS’ “60 Minutes Presents”; ESPN’s 13-minute “Monday Night Kickoff” pregame show; ABC’s coverage of the Christmas Day game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks; and the season finale of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”
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