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Brett Favre's Return to Green Bay Becomes Highest Rated 'Sunday Night Football' Telecast Ever

Sunday night, former Green Bay Packer great Brett Favre returned to Lambeau Field as a Minnesota Viking. Today, NBC Sports says that the game was the most watched Sunday Night Football broadcast of all time, watched by 25.7 million total viewers, and drawing a 15.4 rating/25 share.

The previous record holder was week one of this season, when the Dallas Cowboys played the Washington Redskins.

The Vikings-Packers game is also the highest rated primetime NFL game played in October since 1996, and was up a whopping 71% from last week’s game.

More information in the press release after the jump.

VIKINGS VS. PACKERS IS MOST-WATCHED “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” BROADCAST EVER

25.7 Million is Also Most-Watched October Primetime NFL Game in 14 Years

Top 4 Most-Watched Primetime Programs Since Beginning of NFL Season are all NFL Games on NBC

Vikings-Packers Up 71% From Last Year’s Week 7 SNF Game

SNF is Most-Watched and Highest-Rated Primetime Program of the Week

No. 1 Primetime Show of the Week in All Key Adult and Male Demos For 7th Straight Week

NEW YORK – October 26, 2010 – The Vikings-Packers game was the most-watched and highest-rated “Sunday Night Football” game ever, the most-watched October primetime NFL game in 14 years, and viewership was up 71 percent from last year’s Week 7 game, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company.

Additionally, “Sunday Night Football” was the No. 1 show on Sunday night for the seventh consecutive week and the No. 1 show of the week among viewers, households and in the key advertising demographics and, is the No. 1 show of the season in all adult and male demographics.

“Sunday Night Football,” featuring Vikings QB Brett Favre returning to Green Bay in a 28-24 loss, was seen by 25.7 million viewers (8:31-11:35 p.m.), the best ever in the history of “Sunday Night Football,” and a gain of 71 percent over last year’s Week 7 game (Cardinals-Giants, 15.0 million).

The 15.4/25 national rating for Sunday night’s game is also the best ever in the history of SNF and is 69 percent ahead of last year’s Week 7 SNF game (Cardinals-Giants, 9.1/15).

Three of top four SNF games all from 2010 season

MOST WATCHED “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” GAMES:

1. 10/24/10, Vikings-Packers, 25.7 million (Favre Return to Lambeau II)

2. 9/12/10, Cowboys-Redskins, 25.3 million (SNF: Week 1)

3. 9/20/09, Giants-Cowboys, 24.8 million (Dallas Cowboys stadium debut)

T4. 09/19/10, Giants-Colts, 23.1 million (“Manning Bowl II”)

T4. 12/14/08, Giants-Cowboys, 23.1 million

6. 9/10/06, Colts-Giants, 22.6 million (Original “Manning Bowl”)

7. 11/15/09, Patriots-Colts, 22.4 million

8. 9/21/08, Cowboys-Packers, 22.2 million

T9. 11/8/09, Cowboys-Eagles, 21.9 million

T9. 11/5/06, Colts-Patriots, 21.9 million

*The NFL Kickoff Opener on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 between the Vikings and Saints generated an average viewership of 27.5 million people.

NFL ON NBC ARE FOUR MOST-WATCHED BROADCASTS: Since the beginning of the NFL season on 9/9/10, primetime football on NBC are the four most-watched regularly-scheduled programs on primetime television.

1. 9/9/10, Vikings-Saints, 27.5 million (Thursday Kickoff Opener)

2. 10/24/10, Vikings-Packers, 25.7 million (Favre Return to Lambeau II)

3. 9/12/10, Cowboys-Redskins, 25.3 million (2010 SNF: Week 1)

4. 9/19/10, Giants-Colts, 23.1 million (“Manning Bowl II”)

5. 9/27/10, Dancing With the Stars – ABC, 21.4 million

SNF NOW 7 FOR 7: With 25.7 million viewers, “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched regularly scheduled primetime show on Sunday night for the seventh straight week this season, on a night that faced original programs including ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, CBS’s 60 Minutes, Amazing Race, Undercover Boss and CSI Miami.

Last season, SNF was the most-watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a record 15 of 16 (94 percent) weeks. In 2008, SNF won 13 of 16 (81 percent) Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 (69 percent) and nine of 16 in 2006 (56 percent).

NO. 1 SHOW OF THE WEEK: SNF was the No. 1 primetime show of the week among viewers and households and, for the seventh straight week, “Sunday Night Football” was the No. 1 regularly-scheduled primetime broadcast of the week by a wide margin among Adults 18-49, the coveted advertiser demographic, as well as among Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54, Men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

  • For the week, “Sunday Night Football” has a 109 percent margin of victory over the No. 2 show in Adults 18-49 (9.8 for SNF vs. 4.7 for Modern Family on ABC).

NBC DOMINATES SUNDAY NIGHT COMPETITION: In primetime on Sunday night (7-11 p.m.), NBC’s margin of victory over the No. 2 network was 125 percent in adults 18-49 (8.1 vs. a 3.6 for CBS), 62 percent in total viewers (21.6 million vs. 13.3 million for CBS) and 61 percent in household rating (12.9 vs. 8.0 for CBS).

  • It’s the top-rated Sunday night for any network among total viewers, households and adults 18-49 since ABC televised the Academy Awards on March 7.

SNF SHOWS DRAMATIC YEAR-ON-YEAR VIEWERSHIP GAINS

THROUGH 7 WEEKS, SNF BEST IN 14 YEARS: Through the first seven weeks of the NFL season, “Sunday Night Football” is averaging 21.9 million viewers, the most for the first seven weeks of a primetime NFL package in 14 years (24.8 million in 1996 on ABC).

  • NBC’s seven-week viewership of 21.9 million is nearly three million more than and 15 percent above last year’s 19.1 million for the opening seven weeks of the NFL season and up 38 percent over the first seven weeks in 2008 (15.9 million).
  • Through seven weeks of the NFL season, “Sunday Night Football” stands as the most-watched primetime show on television, and the No. 1 regularly scheduled primetime show in all key adult and male demos.

SNF AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP THROUGH SEVEN WEEKS:

1. 2010, 21.9 million

2. 2009, 19.1 million

3. 2006, 17.2 million

4. 2007, 16.1 million

5. 2008, 15.9 million

The seven-week average household rating of 13.2/22 is 14 percent higher than last year’s first seven weekends (11.6/19) and 35 percent ahead of the first seven weeks in 2008 (9.8/16).

TOP METERED MARKETS FOR VIKINGS-PACKERS:

1. Milwaukee, 53.1/68

2. Minneapolis, 51.5/68

3. Las Vegas, 23.5/35

4. New Orleans, 21.5/29

5. Norfolk, 21.4/31

6. Kansas City, 20.4/29

T7. Phoenix, 19.0/32

T7. Nashville, 19.0/26

9. Chicago, 18.7/28

10. Oklahoma City, 18.5/26

Follow NBC Sports PR on Twitter at TWITTER.COM/NBCSPORTSPR

Follow “Sunday Night Football” on Twitter at TWITTER.COM/SNFONNBC

Become a fan of “Sunday Night Football” on Facebook at: FACEBOOK.COM/SNFONNBC

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