In a reversal of the NFL’s downward ratings trend, the Dallas-Washington Thanksgiving game reached a historic viewership level.
FOX announced that the game reached 35.1 million viewers on Thursday. That’s an extraordinary number for American television. Here’s some context on that:
Only one basketball game has ever reached 35 million viewers: Michael Jordan’s last game with the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 NBA Finals, which had 35.9 million viewers.
The Dallas-Washington game had more viewers than 81 of the 82 World Series games in the last 15 years. The only exception was this year’s Game 7 between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.
The game drew more viewers than this year’s Academy Awards (34.3 million viewers), which is typically the most-watched non-sports television event of the year in the United States.
That’s all for a regular season NFL game. For the year, NFL ratings are still down in every time slot: Sunday afternoons, Sunday nights, Thursday nights and Monday nights. But Thanksgiving served as a reminder that the NFL remains the king of American television.