Sunday Night Football becomes first sports series to finish No. 1 for the season

As the national TV audience continues to fracture and divide among cable channels and DVRs and on-demand Internet video, one thing can pull millions together at any given moment.

Live sports.

Specifically, live football.

And so it should be no surprise that, for the first time ever, a sports series finished the full TV ratings year as the highest-rated show on all of television.  The NFL has announced that NBC’s Sunday Night Football was the most-watched show for the 2011-12 season, besting FOX’s American Idol.

The numbers are up across all network platforms for football, from CBS to FOX to ESPN, and the postseason generated huge numbers, culminating in the biggest audience in history tuning in for Super Bowl XLVII on NBC.

Despite the many issues and challenges and problems the NFL currently is facing, it’s a safe bet that the numbers will only continue to increase.

30 responses to “Sunday Night Football becomes first sports series to finish No. 1 for the season

  1. This either says a lot in favor of NBC or says a lot in the negative for ABC who couldn’t seem to keep MNF going on network TV.

  2. ever since they moved monday night football to cable, i’ve been pissed. good for nbc for creating something the people want, and making it infinitely accessible. even though you need a digital receiver box for broadcast t.v. if you live in a barn like i do…..

  3. So the Super Bowl was included as an episode of Sunday Night Football when computing the ratings? Are we supposed to be surprised that it would finish #1 with that giant boost? How did it do just including regular season games?

  4. bearsrulepackdrool says:

    Even over Monday Night Football. Well done.
    Since MNF moved to ESPN, Sunday Night Football is the premier night game now. They get the best matchups and (I think) have the best announcers. Definitely my favorite program 😀

  5. I disagree. It’s peaked or is peaking and the decline will soon follow. Like everything else, over exposure is going to take its toll.

  6. Amen Deb – I enjoy MNF, but SNF is the bomb.

    MNF messed up the personnel in so many ways – losing Dierdorf… then John Madden AND Al Michaels… and now Jaws is gone… WOW

    Chucky – over hypes everything… and Tirico is a flatliner… they’re the weakest cast in the history of the show… all 41 years. Bring Reilly into the box and add some sports knowledge and humor.

  7. Yeah as previously stated with MNF moving to ESPN, a cable channel, Sunday Night Football is available to the most users, hence having the most audience.

    That’s fantastic news.

    This is why I think football is the most watched, more than NBA, MLB, and NHL.

    With the record breaking viewers, it’s shown that people don’t mind watching the NFL even if their favorite teams aren’t playing.

    Plus the scheduling for Sunday Night Football always seem like an exciting game with something going on besides a ‘win’.

    This is because it’s a 16 game season. Few games mean bigger causes, hence more excitement to watch any team play.

  8. I have considered SNF the premier prime time game over MNF for a few years now. While NBC has the best Play by Play/ color team and high production value….ESPN just keeps sucking the life out of MNF with droll commentary and poor production.

  9. To thankheaven:

    No the super bowl wasnt included in that #.

    Only the actual SNF games.

  10. sd5547 says:
    May 24, 2012 7:42 PM

    It’s Shania Twain and those boots.

    *Faith Hill

  11. This is the best NFL product on TV.

    What will Faith Hill be wearing, or not wearing, this season?

  12. Sunday night is bigger than Mnf some people still think Mnf is what it used to be but snf is way more fresh,new school and popular that’s why it’s ratings were best ..Thursday night will also make the week more interesting knowing we get 3 games a week will be greatest thing ever I always recommend it while I was on the minority owner board and nfl finally listened !we gotta a winner in roger!! now back to Miami vs pacers

  13. chrisjohnston10 says:
    May 24, 2012 7:36 PM
    I love the SNF preshow. Rodney and Dungy work soo well together. Keep it up NBC!


    Don’t forget Mike Florio!

  14. It’s always good to see Faith Hill on Sunday nights. STILL extremely hot after all these years. As for the announcers, Micheals and Collingsworth are the best duo in football. Monday night can keep Tirico, but PLEASE lose Gruden!

  15. bearsrulepackdrool says:
    May 24, 2012 5:50 PM
    Even over Monday Night Football. Well done.
    seriously? MNF is garbage. unless the TV is on mute and the radios on.

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