Cowboys-Giants game sets NFL regular-season record with 42m US viewers
- Thanksgiving Day games draw in huge US numbers
- Audience figures for NFL go back to 1988
The Thanksgiving afternoon game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys set the mark for the most-watched NFL regular-season game on record.
The Cowboys’ 28-20 victory on Fox averaged 42 million US viewers, according to Nielsen, surpassing the 41.55 million average for the Monday night game between the Giants and San Francisco 49ers on ABC in December 1990. Average viewer record numbers date to 1988.
The Giants are Cowboys are fierce rivals in the NFC East and are both pushing for the playoffs this season.
The average viewership for the three Thanksgiving Day games Thursday was 33.5 million, surpassing the previous high of 32.9 million in 1993, when two games were aired.
The audience was also up 6% over last year’s average of 31.6 million.
The Buffalo Bills’ 28-25 win over the Detroit Lions on CBS was the most-watched early Thanksgiving Day game on record with a 31.6 million average.
The night game between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings averaged 25.9 million, the second-highest audience for a Thanksgiving night contest. The Vikings’ 33-26 victory was surpassed only by the 2015 game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers (27.8 million).