New York, NY – January 05, 2011 – The 2010 NFL ON FOX regular season goes down in the record books as the most-watched in FOX history based on ratings released by Nielsen Media Research, and for the third consecutive year FOX Sports holds the distinction of being home to the No. 1 television program in the country and the NFL’s top pregame and postgame shows.
The massive audience success of the 2010 NFL ON FOX season enables FOX Sports to continue its reign as America’s No. 1 sports network for the 14th straight year. All sports-related programs on FOX averaged a 6.0 household rating in 2010, with an average audience of 10.1 million viewers. FOX Sports topped second place CBS (4.3, 7.2 million) by +40% in rating and audience; NBC (3.7, 6 million) by 62% and 68%, respectively; ABC (3.3/8, 5.5 million) by 82% and 84%, and ESPN (.08/1.2 million) by 650% and 742%.
The season averaged 20.1 million viewers for all games, smashing the previous NFL on FOX record of 19.1 million set in 2009 by more than a million viewers. In household ratings, the NFL ON FOX 2010 season averaged an 11.8/24, its best rating in 15 years (12.5/29 in 1995).
This season’s average surpassed 2009’s then record-setting campaign by +4% in rating (11.8 vs. 11.4) and +5% in viewership (20.1 million vs. 19.1 million). Looking back two years offers an even more impressive comparison as 2010 is up +12% over 2008’s rating (11.8 vs. 10.5) and +18% in viewership (20.1 million vs. 17.0 million).
FOX Sports’ NFC package beat CBS’s AFC package (11.8 vs. 11.1) for the 13th straight season and also marks the 16th straight year that the NFC has beat the AFC on either CBS or NBC.
AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK, FOX’s national broadcast window on doubleheader Sundays, is far and away television’s highest-rated and most-watched program in any day-part, season-to-date. The 4:15 PM ET games on FOX’s nine doubleheader dates averaged an incredible 15.2/29 rating/share during the 2010 season. For perspective, the No. 1 entertainment program season-to-date is Dancing With The Stars and AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK on FOX bested it by +13% in rating (15.2 vs. 13.5), +45% in share (29 vs. 20) and +21% in viewership (25.9 million vs. 21.4 million). AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK also dominates among Adults 18-49 averaging a 9.2 rating, +84% higher than the No. 1 entertainment show in the demographic, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (5.0).
Compared to the NFL’s other national broadcast windows, AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK on FOX out-rated CBS’s national game by +6% (15.2 vs. 14.3) and NBC’s prime time Sunday Night Football by +16% (15.2 vs. 13.1). In terms of viewership, AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK out-distanced CBS national games by 18% (25.9 mill. vs. 21.9 mill.) and SNF by 7% (25.9 million vs. 24.1 million).
FOX NFL SUNDAY also had a remarkable season, reaching a six-year rating high and a nine-year viewership high while maintaining its position as America’s No. 1 NFL pregame show since its inception in 1994. The show that stars co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, analysts Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan and NFL insider Jay Glazer, finished 2010 averaging a 3.5/9 rating/share and 5.4 million viewers. Ratings-wise, that’s a +9% improvement over 2009, the best average rating since 2004 and its highest viewership since 2001. FOX NFL SUNDAY once again significantly out-distanced CBS’ The NFL Today by +25% in rating (3.5 vs. 2.8) and +26% on viewership (5.4 million vs. 4.3 million), and NFL Countdown on ESPN by +94% in rating (3.5 vs. 1.8) and 100% in viewership (5.4 million vs. 2.7 million).
THE OT, the NFL’s No. 1 postgame show, finished the season as one of the 20 most-watched shows in prime time averaging a 7.3/13 household rating/share and 12.3 million viewers. That rating ties THE OT as the 19th highest-rated show in prime time and the show’s average audience ranks it No. 20 among all prime time programs.
The NFL ON FOX posted impressive ratings increases across the country’s top cities. The top ten metered markets collectively averaged a 12.4/26, +23% better than CBS (11.2/23). New Orleans topped all markets this season (31.2/46), followed by Milwaukee (28.7/51). Other markets averaging better than a 20 rating are Chicago (21.3/41), Minneapolis (21.3/43) and St. Louis (20.1/37).