More than 105 million fans tune in on Kickoff Weekend

Kickoff Weekend Games 3 of 6 Most-Watched Non-Olympic TV Shows Since Super Bowl XLVI

Steelers-Broncos on NBC Highest-Rated Sunday Night Football Game Ever

NFL Games Top Ratings in All 30 NFL Markets

NFL Network& NFL Digital Media Post Opening Weekend Records

Beginning with the Wednesday night NFL season opener, viewers across the country got Back to Football and tuned into NFL games and visited NFL digital media properties in record numbers.

A total of 105.9 million fans tuned into Kickoff Weekend games (Sept. 5-10) on CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC to mark the third consecutive Kickoff Weekend with a total reach exceeding 105 million viewers.

Also for the third consecutive season, three Kickoff Weekend game telecasts topped 23 million average viewers — NBC Sunday night game (Steelers-Broncos, 27.6 million), FOX national game telecast (mostly 49ers-Packers, 26.4 million) and the NBC Wednesday Kickoff game (Cowboys-Giants, 23.9 million). Those telecasts rank as three of the six most-watched non-Olympic programs among all television shows since Super Bowl XLVI.

Below are additional records and highlights from Kickoff Weekend.


  • NBC’s Sunday Night Football opener (Steelers-Broncos) posted the highest rating ever for a Sunday night game (16.5). The average of 27.57 million viewers for Steelers-Broncos ranks second in NBC Sunday night history (27.62 million viewers for Cowboys-Giants on Jan. 1, 2012).
  • With 26.4 million average viewers, the FOX national telecast (mostly 49ers-Packers) posted its second-best Kickoff Sunday ever (28.0 million for Packers-Eagles in 2010).


  • NFL games ranked first in all 30 NFL markets for the fourth consecutive Kickoff Weekend. NFL games also topped the ratings in 55 of Nielsen’s 56 metered markets — up from 53 of 56 metered markets in 2011. In addition, the second-highest rated show in 29 of the 30 NFL markets was also NFL programming.
  • Four teams delivered record-setting ratingsfor season-openers in their home markets led by Baltimore (40.9 rating) followed by San Diego (37.8), Seattle (27.5), and the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants (20.0).
  • Five clubs (Denver, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle) posted local ratings increases of more than 20 percent for Week 1.


  • NFL Network posted its best-ever Kickoff Sunday viewership with an average of 307,000 viewers tuning for the debut of the new First on the Field at 7:00 AM ET, plus NFL GameDay Morning, NFL GameDay Highlights and NFL GameDay Final.
  • NFL Digital Media properties, including NFL Mobile from Verizon, saw a 38 percent increase in visits for the 2012 NFL Kickoff Weekend.
  • Mobile specific properties, including NFL Mobile from Verizon, had an 83 percent increase in user visits and a 59 percent increase in time spent.

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