Rockefeller Center tree-lighting kicks up NBC ratings for week of Nov. 30

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
NBC’s broadcast of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting ceremony helped lift the network’s ratings.
(Heidi Gutman / NBC)

NBC added the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting ceremony to its ratings powerhouses of “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice” to win the network ratings race for the fifth consecutive week and sixth time in the 11-week-old 2020-21 television season.

The two-hour ceremony averaged 7.405 million viewers, second among entertainment programs, third among non-NFL programs and eighth overall broadcast and cable programs airing between Nov. 30 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

“Sunday Night Football” was the highest-rated prime-time program for the sixth consecutive week, with the Kansas City Chiefs’ 22-16 victory over the Denver Broncos averaging 17.067 million viewers.


“60 Minutes” was the top-ranked non-NFL program, averaging 11.466 million viewers, fourth overall. The newsmagazine followed a 30-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage, which averaged 16.15 million viewers.

The CBS comedy “Young Sheldon” had the biggest audience for any entertainment program, averaging 7.575 million viewers, finishing seventh overall.

NBC averaged 5.97 million viewers. CBS was second, averaging 5.3 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 3.83 million viewers. Fox averaged 2.07 million viewers.

ABC drew its biggest audience for “Grey’s Anatomy,” eighth among entertainment programs and 16th overall, averaging 5.873 million viewers.

Outside of its NFL programing, Fox’s best rating was for “The Masked Singer,” fifth among entertainment programs and 12th overall, averaging 7.13 million viewers.

The Seattle Seahawks’ 23-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Nov. 30 was the week’s top cable program, averaging 11.879 million viewers, third overall.


A week after finishing third, Fox News Channel was the top-rated cable network, averaging 2.654 million viewers, its 43rd first-place finish in 46 weeks. ESPN was second, averaging 2.45 million, a week after finishing first. MSNBC was third, averaging 2.176 million.

From programming on the four streaming services, “The Queen’s Gambit” had the most viewers for the second time in two weeks. Viewers watched 1.455 billion minutes of the seven-episode Netflix miniseries from Nov. 2-8. The 2005-13 NBC comedy “The Office” was second for the third consecutive week, with 1.093 billion minutes watched of its 192 episodes.

The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” was third for the second consecutive week, with 955 million minutes for its 10 episodes, and for the second consecutive week was the only non-Netflix programming in the top 10 streaming programs.