Brady’s return leads NBC to strong Sunday football ratings

Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) is congratulated by fans after defeating the New England Patriots 19-17 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Brady wins in the television ratings, too.

NBC relentlessly promoted the Tampa Bay quarterback’s return to New England, and the Bucs-Patriots game reached the biggest “Sunday Night Football” audience in years, the Nielsen company said.

The 26.7 million people who tuned in represented NBC’s biggest television audience for the game since 2015. Add in people who streamed it, and the game reached 28 million, the biggest “Sunday Night Football” crowd since 2012, Nielsen said.

Despite that competition, CBS’ “60 Minutes” reached 10.3 million people, its largest audience since last January. Viewership was about 12 million for the first part of the show, before the competing football game started and during the story about Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

NBC won the second week of the television season handily, averaging 7.5 million viewers. CBS averaged 5.3 million, ABC had 3,7 million, Fox had 2.1 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and Ion Television had 890,000.

ESPN led cable networks, averaging 2.78 million in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.26 million, MSNBC had 1.19 million, HGTV had 972,000 and TLC had 832,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 8 million viewer. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 6.4 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.8 million.

For the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3, the top 20 prime-time television programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. NFL Football: Tampa Bay at New England, NBC, 26.75 million.

2. “NFL Pregame” (Sunday), NBC, 20.32 million.

3. “Football Night in America, Part 3,” NBC, 14.64 million.

4. NFL Football: Philadelphia at Dallas, ESPN, 12.9 million.

5. “NFL Postgame” (Sunday), Fox, 11.98 million.

6. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.32 million.

7. “Football Night in America, Part 2,” NBC, 9.12 million.

8. “NCIS,” CBS, 8.06 million.

9. NFL Football: Jacksonville at Cincinnati, NFL Network, 8 million.

10. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.44 million.

11. “FBI,” CBS, 7.37 million.

12. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.36 million.

13. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 6.86 million.

14. “NFL Pregame” (Monday), ESPN, 6.85 million.

15. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.71 million.

16. “La Brea,” NBC, 6.37 million.

17. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 6.3 million.

18. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 6.22 million.

19. “FBI: International,” CBS, 6.04 million.

20. “Survivor,” CBS, 5.9 million.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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