NFL’s Thanksgiving Day Ratings Down Seven Percent from 2019

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Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a big day for the NFL as viewers enjoying their day off have usually tuned in for football. Despite the tradition, though, the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day TV ratings fell seven percent over last year’s numbers.

The NFL’s Thanksgiving day schedule drew more than 30 million viewers, to be sure, but viewership fell seven percent from last year’s Bills-Cowboys game (32.64M) and was off one percent from 2018’s Washington-Dallas match (30.52M). It was also the least-watched Thanksgiving Day Cowboys game since 2017 when the Cowboys faced the Chargers (26.28M), Sports Media Watch reported.

The NFL’s least-watched game of the day was the Texans-Lions game, which averaged 23.39 million on CBS. The game was the lowest-rated game since 2009 when the Packers-Lions earned 21.99M viewers. But showing how bad the 2020 season has been, the Texans-Lions game was still the fourth most-watched game of the year (excluding Sunday’s games)

The game scheduled for Fox was postponed over the coronavirus. The absence of football didn’t hurt reality show The Masked Singer, which earned 11.41 million viewers and averaged a 3.5 rating among the 18-49 age bracket.

Perhaps the NFL should be happy that it lost only seven percent over last year. Seven percent off is not nearly as bad as the 30 percent crash experienced by Monday Night Football, or the 23 percent tumble for Sunday Night Football.

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