The series finale of The Walking Dead got a decent ratings bump on Sunday, delivering the show’s biggest same-day audience in almost two years. Yellowstone cooled some from its record-setting fifth season premiere but still drew the night’s largest non-sports audience, and the World Cup got off to a solid start for Fox Sports and Telemundo.
The Walking Dead drew 2.27 million viewers for its final episode — a far cry from its heyday in the mid-2010s but the largest initial tune-in since Feb. 28, 2021. The finale was up by 66 percent over the same-day average (1.37 million) for the final stretch of episodes this fall and by about 37 percent over the average for all of season 11. The episode’s 0.66 rating among adults 18-49 was also the show’s best since Feb. 28, 2021.
Yellowstone’s third episode of season five drew 8.83 million viewers across Paramount Network (8.03 million) and CMT (801,000). That’s off by a good amount from the series record of 12 million-plus viewers for its Nov. 13 premiere (which was simulcast across a host of Paramount Global outlets), but it still ranked as Sunday’s top entertainment program by a sizable margin over CBS’ The Equalizer (6.36 million).
The opening match of the 2022 World Cup (a 2-0 win for Ecuador over host nation Qatar) drew 3.07 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 Sunday morning. Telemundo’s Spanish language telecast had a similar audience (3.17 million), and Peacock and Telemundo digital platforms added 832,000 more viewers, according to NBCUniversal. FS1’s broadcast improved substantially on the opening of the 2018 tournament (Russia vs. Saudi Arabia), which averaged only about 1.7 million viewers.
On the broadcast networks Sunday, the NFL dominated as usual. CBS’ late afternoon broadcast brought in 27.55 million viewers, and NBC’s Sunday Night Football had 17.89 million on air (and 19 million across all platforms).