Cowboys-Saints Viewership Tops Other Sports' 2009 Playoffs on Cable


NFL.com Has Best Week Ever


Special Christmas Night Game - Chargers vs. Titans Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET


NFL Network earned the highest average primetime cable rating among all ad-supported cable networks last week (Dec. 14-20), led by a pair of exciting "Unbeaten Week" Thursday Night Football games -- Indianapolis-Jacksonville and Dallas-New Orleans.

NFL Network averaged a 2.77 primetime cable rating, ahead of ESPN's 2.18 and USA's 2.15. In addition, the 2.77 was the highest weekly average in NFL Network's history, topping the previous best 2.31 for the week of Dec. 15-21, 2008.

Last Saturday's Cowboys-Saints game on NFL Network posted a 12.0 cable rating -- the third-highest cable rating of any program in 2009 (behind two ESPN MNF games, which are the two most-watched cable shows in history). NFL Network's Thursday night Colts-Jaguars contest earned an 8.0 cable rating and is the network's fourth-highest rated game of all-time.

Following are the five highest-rated cable networks in primetime last week:

Cable Network Cable Rating
NFL Network 2.77
ESPN 2.18
USA 2.15
Nickelodeon 2.02
Disney 1.71


Source: Nielsen Media Research, NFLN (8PM-11PM ET coverage area ratings; 12/14-12/20/09)


Cowboys-Saints drew 10.5 million cable viewers, topping cable's most-watched 2009 playoff games in other sports (chart below). Including fans watching on over-the-air stations in Dallas and New Orleans, 12.1 million viewers tuned in on Saturday night.

Cowboys-Saints on NFLN vs. Most-Watched Cable Playoff Game by Sport, 2009

Game Network Viewers
Cowboys-Saints NFL Network 10.5 million
NBA Conf. Finals Game 4 (Magic-Cavs) TNT 10.1 million
MLB NLCS Game 5 (Phillies-Dodgers) TNT 8.0 million
NHL Stanley Cup Game 4 (Red Wings-Penguins) Versus 3.4 million


For the week ending Sunday, Dec. 20, NFL.com posted its best week ever, setting records in unique users, visitors, time on site and video streams. In addition, NFL.com set a single-day record for video streams on Saturday, Dec. 19.

NFL Network wraps up its Thursday Night Football schedule with a special matchup on Christmas night Friday, Dec. 25 at 7 p.m. ET between the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans. The teams have posted a combined 15-1 record over the past eight games -- the top mark for any NFL December game in four years (Seattle vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 24, 2005).

NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log onto www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the exclusive Internet home of NFL Network.

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