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NBC's NFL Coverage Draws 20 Million Viewers

Despite a 17-point victory margin and a 21-point deficit 21 minutes into the game, the Chicago Bears-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup on Sunday Night Football drew an average of 20.5 million viewers on NBC, based on fast national data released by The Nielsen Company.

The 40-23 Bears victory was the night's #1 Primetime program and topped by nearly 3 million viewers (a 16% margin) head-to-head competition from The Emmy Awards on CBS (17.6 million viewers). In addition, SNF out-rated the Emmys in 41 of the 56 metered markets. Sunday Night Football has topped the Emmys in average viewership all six times they have gone head-to-head.

NBC's four NFL telecasts this season - the "NFL Kickoff" game and three Sunday Night Football contests - are the only Primetime programs to exceed 20 million average viewers on any network since June 20 (Game 7 of the NBA Finals, 26.3 million viewers on ABC).

The Bears-Steelers game - which aired from 8:31-11:28 pm ET - had a 12.2/20 fast national rating. Through four NFL telecasts, NBC is averaging 23.1 million viewers -- the fourth consecutive year with a 23+ million average at this point in the season.

TOP METERED MARKETS FOR BEARS-STEELERS:
1. Pittsburgh 39.9/56
2. Chicago 36.2/53
3. Las Vegas 18.6/29
4. Baltimore 17.8/28
5. New Orleans 17.5/24
6. Richmond 17.2/25
7. Phoenix 16.8/27
8. Denver 16.7/28
9. Nashville 16.3/23
10. Indianapolis 16.0/26
10. Albuquerque 16.0/25

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