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Odds are, if you are reading this article, you were one of the people who tuned into Thursday’s NFL game between the Giants and Cowboys. If you weren’t, I’m going to assume that you were either enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, fell asleep, or didn’t get to control the remote in your household.
Either way, whether you watched or not, there were plenty of other people who were watching as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and CeeDee Lamb led Dallas to an eight-point win over New York. In fact, it set a record.
Fox Sports drew 42 million (!!) viewers for the NFC East matchup, which is the most viewers for any regular-season NFL game in history. Previously, 32 years ago, 41.47 million viewers watched the Giants lose to the 49ers during Week 13 of the 1990 season— when out-of-home viewing was not measured and streaming didn’t exist.
The NFL on FOX dominated Thanksgiving.
Although Thanksgiving is a bit of an outlier when it comes to NFL viewership, that is not to take away from the massive numbers from Thursday. This year’s Cowboy-Giants game marked a three percent increase from last year’s comparable window, which saw 40.8 million viewers watch the Cowboys and Raiders.
To put the 42 million number in perspective from a standpoint of recency, FOX’s game between New York and Dallas absolutely stomped the other two Thanksgiving games. It wasn’t even close.
The early window saw 31.63 million viewers tune into see Buffalo’s last-minute win over Detroit on CBS. That was the highest tally on record for the early game on Thanksgiving Thursday.
NBC’s primetime window saw approximately 26 million viewers watch the Vikings and Patriots duke it out in Minnesota. That was the second-biggest primetime viewership on Thanksgiving, down 1.8 million from the record-high in 2015.
FOX’s game out-drew CBS by nearly 11 million and out-drew NBC by about 16 million. Sheesh.