‘Sunday Night Football’ kicks NBC to top of chart

The final “Sunday Night Football” game of the season topped last week’s prime-time television rankings, completing its fourth season on NBC with its highest season average.

The New York Jets’ playoff-clinching 37-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals averaged 16.33 million viewers, according to live plus same-day figures released Tuesday by the Nielsen Co. For the season, “Sunday Night Football” averaged 19.4 million viewers, 17% more than last season’s 16.6 million.

In a week with little original entertainment programming until Sunday, CBS finished first for the 14th time in the season’s 15 weeks, averaging 8.25 million viewers for prime-time programming from Dec. 28 through Sunday and was topped by a fourth-place finish by “60 Minutes” and a sixth-place finish by an “NCIS” rerun.

Fox Broadcasting was second, averaging 7.32 million viewers, and ABC was third with 6.43 million, bolstered by a second-place finish by its coverage of the Sugar Bowl on Friday. NBC was fourth, averaging 5.09 million. Outside of football, its most-watched program was a Saturday rerun of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” 43rd for the week with 5.15 million viewers.


Fox finished first among viewers ages 18 to 49.