POSTED: Friday September 11th 2009


Most Watched Sports Program Since Super Bowl XLIII; Most Watched Primetime Show Since American Idol Finale

       Dominated Primetime Competition By More Than 10 Million Over Second Place Network

       NEW YORK – Sept. 11, 2009 – Last night’s Titans-Steelers
game on NBC Sports was the most watched NFL Kickoff since the inception
of the Thursday Night opener according to official national ratings
data released today by Nielsen Media Research.

The game won by the Steelers 13-10 in overtime, had an average audience
of 20.9 million viewers.  The previous high in viewers was the 2006
contest between the Steelers and Dolphins – the first Thursday night
NFL Kickoff game on NBC - that was seen by 19.2 million people.  The
game registered a household rating of 12.8 and a 22 share, the highest
rating for the Thursday NFL Kickoff since the inaugural game on network
television (12.9/22 on ABC in 2003).

·       BEST SINCE SUPER BOWL: Last night’s game had the biggest
audience for any sporting event since Super Bowl XLIII, which was the
most watched broadcast in U.S. television history.  The Titans-Steelers
game was also the most watched of any primetime show on any broadcast
network since the American Idol finale (28.8 million on 5/20/09).


1. NFL Kickoff (Titans-Steelers)                20.9 million    NBC

2. NCAA Championship (Mich. St-UNC)     17.6 million    CBS

3. Kentucky Derby                               16.1 million    NBC

T4. NBA Finals, Gm. 4 (Lakers-Magic)    16.0 million    ABC

T4. Daytona 500                         16.0 million    Fox

6. MLB All Star Game                    14.6 million    Fox

7. NCAA Semifinal (Villanova-UNC)       14.5 million    CBS

8. Masters – Final Round                        14.3 million    CBS

9. NBA Finals, Gm. 3                            14.2 million    ABC

T9. NBA Finals, Gm. 5                   14.2 million    ABC

·       DOMINATED PRIMETIME: NBC dominated primetime (8-11 p.m.) with
18.5 million viewers overall, establishing a 137 percent margin of
victory over CBS’s second-place 7.8 million and more than quadrupling
each of the other key broadcast networks—CW, 4.2 million; ABC, 3.9
million; Fox, 3.8 million.

o       NBC’s 18.5 million average in total viewers from 8-11 p.m. ET
is the highest non-Olympic Thursday average for NBC since the night of
the “Friends” finale (May 6, 2004).

·       UP 55% OVER LAST YEAR IN VIEWERS: Last night’s game had a
viewership of 20.9 million, up 55 percent from the 2008 NFL Kickoff
(Giants-Redskins, 13.5 million), which started early to allow coverage
of the Republican National Convention, up 11 percent from the 2007 NFL
Kickoff (Colts-Saints, 17.8 million) and up two percent from the 2006
NFL Kickoff (Dolphins-Steelers, 19.2 million).


2009: NBC 20.9 million (Pittsburgh 13 – Tennessee 10)

2008: NBC 13.5 million (NY Giants 16 – Washington 7)

2007: NBC 17.8 million (Indianapolis 41 – New Orleans 10)

2006: NBC 19.2 million (Pittsburgh 28 - Miami 17)

2005: ABC 18.0 million (New England 30 – Oakland 20)

2004: ABC 16.9 million (New England 27 – Indianapolis 24)

2003: ABC 19.1 million (Washington 16 – NY Jets 13)

2002  ESPN 10.8 million (San Francisco 16 – NY Giants 13)

·       UP 49% IN HH RATING: Last night’s game had a household rating
of 12.8, 22 share million, up 49 percent from the 2008 NFL Kickoff
(Giants-Redskins, 8.6/15), up 11 percent from the 2007 NFL Kickoff
(Colts-Saints, 11.5/20) and up two percent from the 2006 NFL Kickoff
(Dolphins-Steelers, 12.6/21).


1. Pittsburgh, 49.6/70

2. Nashville, 40.1/56

3. Baltimore, 20.5/33

4. Las Vegas, 20.0/32

5. New Orleans, 18.8/27

6. Cleveland, 18.7/30

7. Memphis, 18.2/25

8. Knoxville, 18.0/27

9. Washington D.C., 17.3/29

10. Norfolk, 16.9/27

       Members of the media can get more information about NBC
Universal and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web
site at

# # #

Keywords · NBC · Titans · Steelers · NFL · football

Name: Adam Freifeld
Organization: NBC
Phone: +1.212-664-6772

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