NFL Continues To Light Up Ratings Scoreboard; Nielsen Week In Review
Philadelphia Eagles free safety Corey Graham (24) celebrates with teammates after recovering a fumble by Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff during the second half in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Professional football — the lifeblood of live television this time of year — illustrated its dominance in the ratings this past week.

Four NFL games finished among the Nielsen company’s 20 most popular primetime programs, with NBC’s Sunday night and Fox’s Thursday contests the top two. Both games featured Los Angeles teams.

Add in three pre-game shows, and football accounted for seven of Nielsen’s entries.

The games usually dwarf regular programming. For example, Fox drew 17.4 million to its Thursday night game. Its next most popular show, “Last Man Standing,” had 12 million fewer viewers.

Similarly, the 18.1 million people who watched NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” were nearly 10 million more than “The Voice.” CBS’ lineup has a broader base of support and no pro football in primetime, but it should be noted that its highest-rated show, “60 Minutes,” comes on after football on the East Coast.

CBS won the week in primetime, averaging 7.2 million viewers. NBC had 6.2 million viewers, Fox had 5.1 million, ABC had 3.6 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, the CW had 1.2 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.

ESPN was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.4 million people in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.04 million, Hallmark had 2.02 million, MSNBC had 1.91 million and USA had 1.31 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 8.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.4 million

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Dec. 10-16. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: Philadelphia at L.A. Rams, NBC, 18.12 million.
2. NFL Football: L.A. Chargers at Kansas City, Fox, 17.41 million.
3. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.55 million.
4. “NCIS,” CBS, 12.28 million.
5. “NFL Pregame,” NBC, 11.66 million.
6. NFL Football: Minnesota at Seattle, ESPN, 11.63 million.
7. “NFL Pregame,” Fox, 10.34 million.
8. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 9.22 million.
9. “FBI,” CBS, 9.04 million.
10. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 8.97 million.
11. “God Friended Me,” CBS, 8.53 million.
12. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 8.43 million.
13. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 8.08 million.
14. “Survivor,” CBS, 7.78 million.
15. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 7.76 million.
16. “Mom,” CBS, 7.71 million.
17. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.7 million.
18. “Bull,” CBS, 7.4 million.
19. NFL Football: Cleveland at Denver, NFL Network, 7.29 million.
20. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 7.21 million.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.


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