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‘Sunday Night Football’ was the highest-rated TV show this year, but its audience is smaller than last year

On average, 18.6 million people watched it this year and 19.3 million people watched it last year.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched regularly scheduled prime-time TV program this year, beating out last year’s winner, “The Big Bang Theory.”

On average, 18.6 million people watched it, according to Nielsen. Though it’s now ranked No. 1, “Sunday Night Football” viewership declined from last year when 19.3 million people watched it on average. Those viewership declines don’t seem to be bothering advertisers.

NBC parent company Comcast* and CBS dominated the Top 10 list this year.

The Super Bowl, as usual, was the most-watched single telecast, though its average viewership was down 576,000 compared with last year.

“Game of Thrones” had the most buzz on social media, with an average of 2.6 million Facebook and Twitter interactions for each new episode.

* Comcast’s NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Recode parent company Vox Media.

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