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NBC tops network ratings with NFL Hall of Fame game, ‘America’s Got Talent’

A running back sprints up field in a preseason football game.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs runs the ball up the field during an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.
(Kirk Irwin / Associated Press)

Official viewership for the NFL’s weather-delayed Hall of Fame game was down 25% from last year but was still one of the three prime-time programs to average more than 5 million viewers last week.

NBC’s coverage of the Las Vegas Raiders’ 27-11 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday in a game the Raiders led 20-0 at halftime averaged 5.48 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday.

The total viewership — which also includes viewing on the Peacock streaming service, NBCSports.com and NBC Sports app — was 5.7 million, a 5% increase over the Denver Broncos’ 14-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the 2019 game, the most recent previous time NBC carried the game, according to the network.

Viewership for the 41-minute weather delay was fifth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Aug. 1 and Sunday, averaging 4.156 million viewers.

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Fox averaged 7.31 million viewers for its coverage of last year’s Hall of Fame game, a 16-3 victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Dallas Cowboys, a matchup of two of the NFL’s most popular teams. That game ran opposite Tokyo Olympics coverage on NBC.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the top ranked prime-time program for the second consecutive week and fourth time in six weeks, averaging 6.24 million viewers. An edition of “60 Minutes” with three previously broadcast segments that were updated, finished second, averaging 5.93 million viewers.

The combination of “America’s Got Talent” and the Hall of Fame game made NBC the top rated network for the first time since the week of Feb. 14-20, the final week of its coverage of the Beijing Olympics, with an average of 2.86 million viewers.

CBS averaged 2.8 million viewers to finish second after four first-place finishes in five weeks. ABC was third, averaging 2.78 million.

“Celebrity Family Feud” had ABC’s biggest audience for the sixth time in the six weeks since the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. Sunday’s games matching teams led by comedians Rhys Darby and Jay Pharoah and talent from “The Bachelor” franchise averaged 4.73 million viewers, fourth for the week.

Fox averaged 1.46 million viewers, led for the second consecutive week by the cooking competition “MasterChef,” which was 49th for the week, averaging 2.23 million viewers.

The CW averaged 310,000 viewers. Its biggest draw was the science fiction drama “Rosewell, New Mexico,” which averaged 441,000 viewers, 185th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of “America’s Got Talent”; “60 Minutes”; the Hall of Fame game and its 41-minute weather delay; four ABC game shows; three episodes of the CBS alternative series “Big Brother”; the CMA Fest country music concert on ABC; the ABC alternative series “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “The Bachelorette”; reruns of five CBS scripted series; and the Aug. 1 edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Each of the four top-ranked prime-time cable programs were editions of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” topped by the Aug. 1 edition, which averaged 3.2 million viewers, 18th overall. It was the seventh time in eight weeks that at least three broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” led prime-time cable programs.

Fox News Channel had each of the top eight prime-time cable programs and 10 of the top 11 to win the cable network race in prime time for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 2.08 million viewers. MSNBC was second, averaging 950,000, and HGTV third, averaging 927,000.

The cable top 20 consisted of 13 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and four each of “Hannity” and “The Ingraham Angle”; the three hour-long segments of the USA Network professional wrestling program “WWE Raw” Aug. 1; the Aug. 1 edition of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” game between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres; the TLC dating series “90 Day Fiance”; and the Hallmark Channel movie “Love in the Limelight.”

“Purple Hearts” was Netflix’s most-streamed program, with viewers spending 102.59 million hours watching the film romance in its first full week of release, 112.7% more than the 48.23 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days, according to figures released by the streaming service.

“The Sandman” was Netflix’s most popular television series, with viewers spending 69.48 million hours watching the 10 episodes of the fantasy drama in their first 10 days of release.


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