An average 25.68 million viewers tuned in to NBC on Sunday night to watch Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's second game as an opposing player at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, where he played for 16 seasons, according to live-plus-same day viewing figures released Tuesday by The Nielsen Co.
It was the largest-ever audience since "Sunday Night Football'' began airing on NBC in 2006. The previous record was set on Sept. 12, when 25.3 million viewers watched the Dallas Cowboys take on the Washington Redskins in the season-opening game, which faced less first-run programming competition.
The Green Bay Packers' 28-24 victory was also the most-watched October prime-time NFL telecast since the Oct. 14, 1996, "Monday Night Football'' game on ABC between the Packers and San Francisco 49ers.
Since the NFL season began on Sept. 9, each of the four most-watched regularly scheduled prime-time programs have been NFL games on NBC.
Meanwhile, CBS averaged 11.56 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Oct. 18 and Sunday -- its fifth first-place finish in the television season's five weeks.
CBS was also the most-watched network for the fifth consecutive week among viewers ages 18-49, the group advertisers covet, and viewers ages 25-54.
It's the first time -- since NBC in 1997 -- that a network has begun the season finishing first in all three categories for each of the first five weeks of a season. It's also only the third time the feat has been accomplished since the 1987 introduction of the People Meter system that enabled viewership to be measured by age groups.
CBS had the most-watched scripted show, ``NCIS,'' second overall, averaging 19.41 million viewers; the most-watched comedy, "Two and a Half Men,'' 12th overall, averaging 13.54 million viewers; and the most-watched new show, the police drama "Blue Bloods,'' 22nd overall, averaging 11.15 million viewers.
"NCIS'' has been the most-watched scripted program and "Two and a Half Men'' has been the most-watched comedy for all five weeks of the season.
CBS has had the most-watched new series all five weeks of the season -- "Hawaii Five-0'' the first three weeks and the comedy "Mike and Molly'' on the fourth.
ABC was second for the fifth time in the season's five weeks, averaging 8.86 million viewers.
Outside of "Dancing with the Stars,'' fourth overall with an average of 19.33 million viewers, and "Dancing with the Stars: The Results,'' which was seventh, averaging 15.53 million viewers, its most-watched program was "Desperate Housewives,'' which finished 16th, averaging 12.16 million viewers.
NBC was third for the fourth time in five weeks, averaging 8.01 million viewers. Outside of its football programming, its most-watched program was "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,'' which was 34th, averaging 8.74 million viewers.
Fox Broadcasting was fourth for the fourth time in five weeks, averaging 7.5 million viewers. Its most-watched program was Saturday's sixth and final game of the National League Championship Series, which finished 19th overall, averaging 11.64 million viewers.
The CW was fifth, averaging 2.14 million viewers. Its most-watched program was "The Vampire Diaries,'' which finished 76th for the week among programs on the five major broadcast networks, averaging 3.62 million viewers.
With three games of the American League Championship Series finishing among the week's four most-watched cable programs, TBS was the week's most-watched cable network in prime time, averaging 4.84 million viewers.
Game 6 of the series Friday was the week's most-watched prime-time cable television program. It averaged 11.86 million viewers, which would have put it 19th among the week's programs on the five major broadcast networks.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 4.07 million viewers for its prime-time programming. Telemundo was second (770,000), followed by TeleFutura (700,000), Estrella TV (240,000) and Azteca America (220,000).
The week's most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Wednesday episode of "Soy tu Duena.'' The Univision telenovela averaged 6.17 million viewers, which would have put it 52nd among the programs on the five major English-language networks.
NBC finished first among the network nightly newscasts for the 105th time in 106 weeks, averaging 7.86 million viewers, followed by ABC (6.90 million viewers) and CBS (5.29 million viewers).
The week's 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC's "Sunday Night Football''; CBS' "NCIS''; NBC's nine-minute "Sunday Night Football'' kickoff show; ABC's "Dancing with the Stars''; CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles'' and "60 Minutes''; ABC's "Dancing with the Stars: The Results''; and CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,'' "Criminal Minds'' and "The Mentalist.''