Tom Brady’s heroics last night delivered big ratings for NBC’s Sunday Night Football in what already had been billed as a marquee “Manning-Brady XIV” matchup. The 14th face-off between the NFL superstars — which featured an epic comeback for the Brady-led Patriots over Peyton Manning’s Broncos from a 24-0 halftime deficit to a thrilling overtime win — drew a 17.0 overnight household rating from 8:30 PM-12:30 AM. That was the highest primetime overnight for a November game in 17 years, the second-highest-rated SNF game this season behind the 17.3 for Manning’s return to Indianapolis on October 20, and the fifth-highest-rated game overall in SNF’s eight-year history.
Even with that level of competition that bled deep into West Coast’s primetime, ABC’s American Music Awards (4.5 in adults 18-49) posted big gains vs. last fall when it faced a football game that only averaged a 12.2 in the overnights. Boosted by wide promotion and buzzy music acts like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and One Direction, the AMAs soared 32% above last season’s all-time low to a four-year high — since 2009. In total viewers, the awards show averaged 12.9 million, up 30% from last year and its second-largest audience in 11 years. In teens, the AMAs surged 86% year to year to hit a 9-year high.