Saturday, January 4, 2020

TV Ratings: NFL, ‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘NCIS’ Top Nielsen’s 2019 Rankings

NFL football once again joined network hits including “The Big Bang Theory” and “Game of Thrones” as the most-watched shows on television last year, reports The LA Times.

For the ninth consecutive year, “Sunday Night Football” on NBC was the top-ranked show on television in 2019, averaging nearly 20 million viewers an episode, according to an annual survey by Nielsen. As usual, the year’s most popular special TV event was the Super Bowl, with 98.8 million viewers tuning in last February to see the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams.

The NFL separately announced that 2019 was its most-watched season since 2016. The league noted that 182 million people watched at least one regular-season game.

Nielsen has measured the size of TV audiences for 70 years — since the dawn of network TV. Its year-end rankings included prime-time shows on broadcast and cable TV. It formed the rankings from viewership spanning January through mid-November 2019.

The firm has struggled in recent years to accurately depict all forms of viewership because of the proliferation of digital media. More people watch shows on phones and tablets, and streaming firms, including Netflix, Amazon and now Disney+, tightly guard their audience numbers — making it difficult for Nielsen to provide a full picture of overall television viewership. Last week, Netflix announced that its most popular release in 2019 was “Murder Mystery,” the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy.

However, in its year-end report, New York-based Nielsen noted that traditional television has maintained its heft, reaching about 90% of TV viewers in the U.S.

Nielsen’s Top TV Programs (regularly scheduled) for 2019 (Total Viewers):

1. “NBC Sunday Night Football” (NBC) 19.98 million
2. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) 18.47 million
3. “NCIS” (CBS) 15.42 million
4. “Game of Thrones” (HBO) 15.19 million
5. “Thursday Night Football” (Fox) 13.83 million

6. “Sunday Night Football” pregame (NBC) 13.5 million
7. “Young Sheldon” (CBS) 12.54 million
8. “NFL Regular Season” (ESPN) 12.54 million
9. (tie) “This Is Us” (NBC) 12.42 million
9. (tie) “FBI” (CBS) 12.42 million

Notes: Nielsen National TV View Program Report. All Broadcast and Cable. 1/01/2019-11/17/2019.

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