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NFL dominates TV ratings

December 12, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • The NFL dominates TV ratings.
The NFL dominates TV ratings. (Baltimore Sun )

Want to know why NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN spend billions on the National Football League?

So far this fall, 24 of the 25 most-watched television shows were football games. What non-football programs managed to break through the NFL logjam? NBC's coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is the 18th most-watched event this season.

NBC is getting the biggest numbers out of football as nine of its games are among the top 24 in terms of viewers.

Maybe the other networks should start programming parades against football.

Below is a list of the 25 most-watched shows this fall.

    Program                                                                   Viewers
1. FOX Thanksgiving game (Redskins-Cowboys), 11/22    28.7 million
2. NBC Sunday Night Football (Steelers-Broncos), 9/9    27.6 million
3. CBS Thanksgiving Game (Texans-Lions), 11/22    27.3 million
4. FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-Cowboys), 10/28    26.9 million
5. FOX Sunday National (mostly 49ers-Packers), 9/9    26.4 million
6. FOX Sunday National (mostly 49ers-Saints), 11/25    24.9 million
7. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Patriots), 10/7    24.5 million
8. FOX Sunday National (mostly Saints-Giants), 12/9    24.5 million
9. FOX Sunday National (mostly Cowboys-Eagles), 11/11    24.3 million
10. CBS Sunday National (mostly Steelers-Giants), 11/4    24.2 million
11. CBS Sunday National (mostly Texans-Broncos), 9/23    24.0 million
12. NBC Wed. Night Kickoff Game (Cowboys-Giants), 9/5    23.9 million
13. CBS Sunday National (Indy-NE & SD-Den), 11/18    23.6 million
14. CBS Sunday National (mostly Steelers-Ravens), 12/2    23.0 million
15. CBS Sunday National (mostly Jets-Patriots), 10/21    23.0 million
16. FOX Sunday National (mostly Giants-49ers), 10/14    22.8 million
17. NBC Sunday Night Football (Giants-Eagles), 9/30    22.8 million
18. NBC Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, 11/22    22.4 million
19. FOX Sunday National (mostly Saints-Packers), 9/30    22.3 million
20. NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Falcons), 11/4    21.8 million
21. NBC Sunday Night Football (Lions-Packers), 12/9    21.4 million
22. NBC Sunday Night Football (Lions-49ers), 9/16    21.3 million
23. NBC Sunday Night Football (Patriots-Ravens), 9/23    21.3 million
24. NBC Sunday Night Football (Texans-Bears), 11/11    20.9 million
25. NBC Sunday Night Football (Packers-Giants), 11/25    20.9 million

Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company

ALSO:

DirecTV adds sports tax

Cable lobbyist warns of rising sports costs

Rising sports rights means bigger cable TV bills 

Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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