‘Sunday Night Football’ Viewership Slips In Week 2, But NFL Game Steady With 2021 As Packers Beat Bears

Coming off a bruising season-opener loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Green Bay Packers had something to prove on Sunday Night Football last night up against the Chicago Bears.

With Elgton Jenkins back on the line, Wisconsin’s finest put it all out on Lambeau Field and took down the Windy City crew 27-10 at home. The primetime matchup saw Aaron Rodgers firing off passes and the likes of Randall Cobb taking it where it needed to be.

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It was a performance that in some ways helped take NBC and the NFL where they needed to be, and then not so much. The final numbers won’t be in until Tuesday, but advanced Nielsen data puts SNF Week 2 viewership at just over 20 million.

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That audience is across NBC, Peacock and NFL Digital properties, it should be noted.

Week-to-week, the sets of eyeballs were down about 20% from Tom Brandy and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-3 evisceration of the Dallas Cowboys. However, year-to-year and across linear, streaming and digital platforms, last night’s SNF (the 205th Packers-Bears game, BTW) came in pretty steady with 2021-22 Week 2. That September 19, 2021 up-close faceoff saw the Baltimore Ravens top the Kansas City Chiefs 36-35.

The 2021 season Week 2 SNF was the best the franchise had done in its second outing since 2018’s New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game was watched by 21 million in a pre-Peacock age.

As good as last night’s number looks for the nationally followed Packers and the more regional Bears, it might be humbled by tonight’s Monday Night Football doubleheader. Spread out over the evening and over ESPN/ESPN 2 and ABC/ESPN+, the Disney-owned outlets see the Tennessee Titans take on the Buffalo Bills starting at 7 p.m. ET. With overlap built in and split screen expected, the Vikings clash with the Philadelphia Eagles 90 minutes later to see the night to a close.

If that doesn’t wet your whistle, the September 25 San Francisco 49ers-Denver Broncos tussle on SNF just might be the game you are looking for. Certainly, NBC and the NFL are hoping so.

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