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CBS, Fox tout impressive viewership figures for Thanksgiving football games

CBS won the day with over 41.7 million viewers tuning in on broadcast, cable and Paramount Plus; Fox had 33.7 million viewers, while Comcast's NBC grabbed 26.9 million viewers.

CBS won the day with over 41.7 million viewers tuning in on broadcast, cable and Paramount Plus; Fox had 33.7 million viewers, while Comcast's NBC grabbed 26.9 million viewers.

(Stock image via Pixabay, Graphic by The Desk)

Fox Sports says its Thanksgiving Day telecast of an annual match-up involving the Detroit Lions was watched by 33.7 million viewers from coast to coast.

In a short statement released on Tuesday, officials at Fox Sports said the National Football League (NFL) game that pitted the Lions against the Green Bay Packers was the most-watched early window game played on Thanksgiving Day, and saw a 6 percent increase in viewership compared to a similar holiday game played last year.

Viewership of the Packers-Lions game peaked with 41.6 million tuning in between the hours of 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The Packers won the game with a score of 29-22.

Fox did not specify how many people tuned in on broadcast, cable and streaming services. The game was available to cable and satellite subscribers through the Fox Sports app for phones, tablets and smart TVs, and was the only football game played on Thanksgiving that was not available on a standalone, network-owned streaming service.

By comparison, an early evening game played between the Washington Commanders and the Dallas Cowboys earned Fox rival CBS more than 41.76 million viewers and a peak audience of around 44.3 million viewers. In a statement, officials at CBS said it was the second highest-rated regular season NFL game in American television history; the game was available to subscribers of Paramount Plus, which offers streaming access to live NFL games aired on CBS stations. The Cowboys rode out the Commanders to win the game 10-45, and earned the only home team win of the day.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports said its prime-time match between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks earned 26.9 million viewers across broadcast, cable and the streaming service Peacock. The figure brought down the overall average of the three games aired on NBC, CBS and Fox to 34.1 million, according to viewership figures released by the NFL on Tuesday. The 49ers triumphed over the Seahawks with a score of 31-13.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story, and an accompanying email sent to TheDesk.net Pro Email subscribers, said the CBS telecast of the NFL game was the third highest-rated in American TV history. The information was based on preliminary ratings data shared by CBS; the network later affirmed the game was the second highest-rated NFL program, citing finalized data. 

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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