Sunday Night Football’s NFL Preseason Game Loses in Ratings Battle to CBS Reality Show

by Megan Molseed

As the Atlanta Falcons met the Cleveland Browns on the field Sunday for their NFL Sunday Night Football preseason matchup, many television viewers were tuning in elsewhere.

The NFL’s Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons Sunday Night Football preseason game aired on NBC that evening. However, Neilsen ratings have been released that say football wasn’t the focus of viewers that evening. In fact, it was the CBS programming that finished as the reigning champion in network viewership that evening.

Sunday night’s CBS programming featured new episodes of the network’s hit reality series, “Big Brother;” followed by CBS’s long-running popular news magazine series, “60 Minutes.”

Sunday Night Football Falls To “Big Brother”

These ratings, which were reported Monday morning by the Neilsen Live+7 fast affiliates noted that even as the NFL’s new season is fast approaching, viewers can’t get enough of their reality programming.

CBS was recorded to have had the most-watched, and highest-rated, primetime programs during the first few hours of the evening.

As NBC was airing Sunday Night Football, CBS was premiering the newest episode of its popular and long-running reality game show, “Big Brother.”

The popular CBS series bested the NFL’s programming pulling in a rating of 1.0 among adults ages eighteen to forty-nine years old.

With a recorded 4.82 million viewers for the evening, “Big Brother” topped the evening in programming. Even besting its own viewership from last week. Last Sunday’s “Big Brother” viewership was recorded at 3.87 million.

While “Big Brother” may have topped the rating list for the evening, the NFL does remain among the top favorites, however.

The Falcons versus Browns Sunday Night Football game rated second in viewership that evening. The preseason match-up drew in a 0.9 rating among viewers eighteen to forty-nine years old; raking in a total of 4.45 viewers in the game’s 8 to 11 p.m. time slot.

CBS Rules the Night

The evening CBS programming kicked off with “6o Minutes” bringing in a .07 rating in the demographic featuring adults between the ages eighteen and forty-nine years. Over six million viewers tuned in to watch the popular news magazine program.

These ratings overcame the numbers recorded for the other programming airing at the time; including NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. This programming recorded a rating of 0.7. Bringing in 4.18 million viewers.

On ABC, reruns of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” rated 0.5 in the adult’s ages eighteen to forty-nine demographic; and Lego Master’s on FOX pulled in a 0.2 rating Sunday evening; drawing in .65 million viewers.

Later in the evening, CBS saw a dip in viewership when a new episode of ABC”s hit series “The Chase” pulled in 3.9 million viewers in the 9 p.m. timeslot. The gameshow was looking for an increase in watchers after it experienced a slight drop in ratings last week.