A game hyped as the biggest in NFL regular-season history nearly had the ratings to match.
NBC announced Monday that Tom Brady’s return Sunday night to Gillette Stadium in the Bucs-Patriots clash attracted approximately 28.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Sunday Night Football game since 2012 and second most-watched game since SNF’s debut in 2006.
The 2012 Cowboys-Washington game in Week 17, which determined the NFC East title, drew 30.3 million viewers.
Sunday’s viewership total for the Bucs’ 19-17 triumph included all NBC platforms (NBC TV, Peacock, NBC Sports Digital, NFL Digital). Additionally, the game delivered a 34 share — the highest for any contest in the history of the Sunday Night Football package.
NBC’s TV coverage averaged approximately 27.2 million viewers alone, with a national TV household rating of 14.6/34. The first number represents the percentage of total national TV households tuned into a program at a given time; the latter is the percentage of TV sets in use.
By comparison, the nationally televised Bucs-Cowboys season opener on Sept. 9 had a rating of 13.4/32.
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