NFL Network Tackles Competition On Thursday Nights

This season, especially in the fall, Thursday nights will have even stronger competition from the NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football” series.

The first game of the season -- on the NFL Network, between the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos -- pulled in a big-time Nielsen 3.8 rating among 18-49 viewers (4.8 million) and 8.8 million overall viewers -- easily leading all TV programming for the night.

By way of comparison, this year’s Thursday opener was 3% higher than the NFL network opener a year ago on Sept 13, where a Chicago Bears Bears-Green Bay Packers game got to 8.559 million viewers.

NFL Network, a cable channel, is increasingly a factor -- now with greater distribution, which helps to yield more potential viewers: in 71.9 million TV homes, up from 61.2 million last September. “Thursday Night Football” is beginning the second year of airing 13 games -- almost the entire length of the NFL regular season.

NFL football programming continues to score the highest ratings on TV overall. For the last two years, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” earned the crown as the highest-rated TV show; Sunday afternoon games and “Monday Night Football” continue to do well.

Major advertisers -- movie companies, automotives, and big retailers -- continue to use Thursday night for big media/marketing executions.

But the real battle for Thursday between the NFL Network and the broadcast network’s prime-time programming is yet to begin. The network broadcast TV season officially doesn’t start for another week and a half -- Sept. 23.

Right now, the networks are still in summer-style rerun mode for the most part. Five series with new episodes aired for the second Thursday in September.

CBS’ near-season ending “Big Brother” at 9 p.m. earned the top spot for a broadcast network show -- a Nielsen preliminary 2.6 rating/7 share among 18-49 viewers (7.5 million overall viewers).

Fox’s “X-Factor," the Thursday night results edition at 8 p.m., pulled in a 2.2 rating/7 share -- up from its Wednesday night edition, which grabbed in a 2.1 rating in its early Nielsen results. The Thursday show also had 6.8 million overall viewers.

ABC’s “Rookie Blue” at 10 p.m. came in with a fair 1.4/4 among 18-49 viewers and 5.7 million overall viewers. NBC’s “Million Second Quiz” at 8 p.m. continued to post weak to mediocre results: a 1.1/4 and 4.2 million overall viewers.

For the night among key 18-49 viewers, Fox was at a 2.2/7; CBS, a 1.9/6; ABC, a 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; NBC, a 1.0/3; and CW, a 0.2/1



1 comment about "NFL Network Tackles Competition On Thursday Nights".
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  1. Daniel Cohen from Clear Channel Airports, September 17, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.

    The game was Jets @ Pats, not Denver.

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