LOS ANGELES — 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 viewers, according to Nielsen, surpassing the 41.55 million average for the Dec. 3, 1990, Monday night game between the Giants and San Francisco 49ers on ABC. Average viewer record numbers date to 1988.
The average viewership for the three Thanksgiving Day games on Thursday was 33.5 million, surpassing the previous high of 32.9 million in 1993, when two games were aired.
The average 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).