Sunday night’s tilt between the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears was a brutally terrible football game, but that didn’t stop America from watching Sunday Night Football in record numbers. An average of almost 21 million people saw the Giants 17-3 victory, the most for an October primetime game since 22.0 million checked out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers battle the Minnesota Vikings in 2000.
Viewership for the first four weeks of the season is up 10 percent from last season and 29 percent from 2008. Ratings should continue to be high. Next week’s Philadelphia Eagles versus the San Francisco 49ers features two large markets and one excellent storyline (the return of Michael Vick), while the three following matches are marquee ones (Indianapolis Colts v. Washington Redskins; Vikings v. Green Bay Packers; Pittsburgh Steelers v. New Orleans Saints). Dick Ebersol will continue printing money.
Facts and figures after the jump.
SNF AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP THROUGH FOUR WEEKS:
1. 2010, 22.9 million
2. 2009, 20.8 million
3. 2006, 18.6 million
4. 2008, 17.8 million
5. 2007, 17.1 million
TOP METERED MARKETS FOR BEARS-GIANTS:
1. Chicago, 39.7/54
2. Milwaukee, 21.9/33
3. Las Vegas, 20.6/33
4. New Orleans, 18.5/25
5. West Palm Beach, 16.3/22
6. Richmond, 16.0/23
7. Indianapolis, 15.8/24
8. Phoenix, 15.7/26
T9. Denver, 15.6/25
T9. Kansas City, 15.6/22
T9. Norfolk, 15.6/22
12. New York, 15.4/22
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