The Sunday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers went right down to the wire. After Jimmy Garoppolo tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk to give the Niners a one-point lead with 37 seconds remaining, Aaron Rodgers led his team right back down for the game-winning field goal.
The game certainly was one of the best of the Week 3 slate and the viewership numbers released by NBC reflected that fact. According to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, the Packers-49ers broadcast drew in a total audience of 21.1 million, making the contest the most watched Sunday Night Football game since 2015.
Viewership peaked in the latter stages of the game, with 11 million people tuned into NBC when Mason Crosby’s field goal went through the uprights as time expired.
Per NBC, Packers-49ers was most-watched SNF game since 2015. Total audience: 21.1 million. (Curse words as time expired: 11 million).
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) September 27, 2021
The Sunday Night Football numbers are just the latest success story for the NFL to start the 2021 season. Viewership is up across the board this year, after the 2020 campaign was dragged down by the looming presence of COVID-19.
Just earlier this week, the Thursday Night Football game between the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans also delivered from a ratings standpoint. Even though the game wasn’t all that close, NFL Network reported a total of 7.9 million viewers, making the contest most-watched NFL Network-exclusive Thursday Night Football broadcast since 2018.
Through three weeks, the action on the field has delivered in countless ways. Many of the league’s top teams have been involved in single-score games, which has made for a sensational television product that diehard fans and more casual viewers have been happy to tune in for.
The NFL will want to continue its early broadcast success throughout the fall and certainly looks to be on pace as of late September.