The NFL's primetime matchup Sunday night between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears struggled to attract viewers, following a dismal Thursday night season opener which saw viewership plunge to the lowest levels in nearly a decade.
Despite a dramatic turnaround by the Packers who overcame a 17-0 halftime disadvantage to score a 24-23 victory over the bears, last night's Sunday Night Football game garnered just 14.4/25 in metered market results, a drop of 9% from the September 10, 2017 SNF matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, reports Deadline.
Despite the delays in getting numbers from Nielsen due to Hurricane Irma hitting Florida last year, the Cowboys flooding of the Giants went on to pull in 24.2 million viewers. As a point of comparison, that was a rise of 5% from the 2016 SNF opener.
So, once the final numbers are in, we may see the SNF opening of the 2018/2019 season down from both of the last two years, even though it has the best metered market result for any NBC Sunday game in almost a year. -Deadline
It wasn't all bad news, however - with three of Sunday's four NFL ratings metrics increasing over last year, accroding to Sportsmediawatch.
The Week 1 NFL national window, featuring Cowboys-Panthers in 80% of markets, had a 15.7 overnight rating on FOX Sunday — up a tick from last year (mostly Seahawks-Packers: 15.6) and down 7% from 2016 (mostly Giants-Cowboys: 16.9).
As for the early afternoon windows, CBS earned a 10.6 overnight for its singleheader coverage — up 23% from last year (8.6), up 4% from 2016 (10.2) and the highest for the Week 1 singleheader since 2015 on FOX (11.7).
FOX scored an 8.8 for regional coverage featuring 49ers-Vikings in a plurality of markets — up 5% from last year (mostly Philadelphia-Washington: 8.4) but down 19% from 2016 (feat. Packers-Jaguars: 10.8). -Sportsmediawatch
Mostly good ratings news from the Week 1 NFL overnights:— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 10, 2018
Fox regional games up 5% from last season.
Fox national game up 1% from last season.
CBS single header up 23% from last season.
NBC Sunday Night Football down 9% from last season.
Adding to the NFL's primetime woes was President Trump, who attacked the league and player protests early Sunday, tweeting "Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!"
Trump then retweeted a response showing a boy in a wheelchair attempting to stand for a parade.
STAND FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM! pic.twitter.com/oHk86YNi0v— The Trump Train 🚂🇺🇸 (@The_Trump_Train) September 9, 2018
Earlier in the day, Trump retweeted an article showing Miami Dolphins players kneeling during the National Anthem:
Welcome to 2018 NFL https://t.co/K6YJEc1IXi— America First (@trueamerica1st) September 9, 2018
Last Thursday's NFL opener between the Panthers and the Falcons dropped 8% over last year - the lowest level for an NFL opener since 2009.
NBC says the Eagles-Falcons drew a 13.4 overnight rating. No way to spin that other than disappointing for the league and network We'll see what Sunday brings. https://t.co/mJR5Dkn3I7— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) September 7, 2018
Let's see how attendance does this year...