21.2 Million Watch Sunday Night Football

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By Noah Davis Comment

Another week, another series of excellent numbers (and breathless PR emails) about NBC’s Sunday Night Football. More than 21 million people watched the New England Patriots paste the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, giving the Peacock the night’s most-watched program for the 10th week in a row. The game was the sixth one watched by at least 20 million viewers, the highest number through 10 weeks of the season.

Form the release: “NBC’s 10-week viewership of 21.3 million is 1.5 million more than and eight percent above last year’s 19.8 million, and up 31 percent over 2008 (16.2 million) through the same point in the season.”

It’s not all positive news, however. Sunday’s game was only the fifth most-watched SNF telecast of the season, with four of those coming in during the first two weeks of the season. (September 9th’s Thursday night Opening Kickoff special drew the most viewers.)

The ratings will continue to stay strong – next week’s Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants tilt should draw massive numbers, especially after Michael Vick’s transcendent performance on Monday – but the San Diego Chargers-Indianapolis Colts game on November 28 doesn’t hold the same appeal it did at the start of the season.

Regardless, it’s shaping up to be a banner year for the NFL, NBC, and television networks in general.