New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, celebrates his touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Gordon, right, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Pro and college football games dominate the TV ratings

November 06, 2018 - 6:43 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While political battles raged, viewers overwhelmingly cast their TV votes for football.

Eight of the 10 most popular telecasts last week were NFL and college games or related programs, according to Nielsen ratings released Tuesday.

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" Green Bay-New England contest was the top-rated NFL game of the season on any channel, the network said. More than 23 million viewers saw the England Patriots' 31-17 victory over the Packers.

CBS was the No. 1 network among all viewers last week, powered by the Alabama-LSU game and the Crimson Tide's 29-0 victory over the Tigers. The prime-time match-up drew 11.5 million viewers.

A pair of top 10 series, "The Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS," also helped boost CBS, which ranks as the most-watched network for the season so far and the leader for the last 10 consecutive seasons.

But NBC is only about 230,000 viewers behind, the closest the peacock network has been to CBS at this point since 2001. It went on to win the 2001-02 season with series including "Friends" and "ER" and the Winter Olympics.

CBS earned last week's top spot with a prime-time average of 8.02 million viewers. NBC had 7.83 million viewers, ABC had 4.28 million, Fox had 5.52 million, Univision had 1.37 million, Telemundo had 1.23 million, ION Television had 1.17 million and the CW had 990,000.

ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.54 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.47 million viewers, MSNBC had 1.85 million, Hallmark had 1.81 million and USA had 1.19 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.28 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 8.06 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.06 million.

For the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 4, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NFL Sunday Night Football: Green Bay at New England," NBC, 23.68 million; "NFL Sunday Post Game," Fox, 17.8 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff," NBC, 17.4 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 12.65 million; "NCIS," CBS, 12.3 million; "The OT," Fox, 12.1 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 11.7 million; "Home Depot Prime College Football: Alabama at LSU," CBS, 11.5 million; "Fox Thursday Night Football: Oakland at San Francisco," Fox, 11.1 million; "NFL Regular Season: New England at Buffalo," ESPN, 11.07 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Lynn Elber can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.