The three Thanksgiving Day games of American football's NFL on Thursday (November 24) delivered record-breaking domestic viewing figures in the US, with the New York Giants’ game against the Dallas Cowboys becoming the most-watched regular season game ever.

According to Nielsen, the Cowboys’ 28-20 victory broadcast on national network Fox averaged 42 million viewers, surpassing the previous record made in 1990 for the Giants’ game against the San Francisco 49ers on free-to-air channel ABC.

The game also became the most-watched Thanksgiving game on record – up 3% from the previous high set by the Las Vegas Raiders’ game against the Cowboys last season on national network CBS, which averaged 40.8 million.

The average viewership for all three Thanksgiving Day games on Thursday came to 33.5 million, beating the previous record of 32.9 million in 1993 when two games were aired. The average was also up 6% from last year’s average of 31.6 million.

The NFL said the three games secured a total unduplicated audience of 138 million, beating the previous high of 126 million in 2016 and marking a 34% increase on last year (103 million).

The Buffalo Bills’ 28-25 win over the Detroit Lions on CBS, meanwhile, became the most-watched early Thanksgiving game on record with a 31.6 million average.

The evening game, which saw Minnesota Vikings beat the New England Patriots 33-26, was the second-highest audience for a Thanksgiving night contest averaging 25.9 million, just behind the 2015 game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers (27.8 million).

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