NFL Kicks Off Big Numbers For NBC Thursdays

NBC’s “NFL Kickoff” season opener on Thursday between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks scored big numbers -- a preview, in part, of what Thursday nights this fall might look like with a new broadcast NFL package.

NBC earned a big Nielsen preliminary 9.0 rating/27 share among 18-49 viewers for its season opening game, where Seattle beat GreenBay, 36-16. Those ratings are expected to climb to around 10.6, a bit higher than last season’s opening game.

In terms of total viewers, the opening NFL contest pulled in a Nielsen average 26.9 million viewers -- up 7% from a year ago, when the Denver Broncos beat the Baltimore Ravens 49-27.

This fall, Thursday night will look radically different with CBS airing a number of games, part of the new “Thursday Night Football” series from the NFL. NBC will continue to air its “Sunday Night Football” series, now earning the highest average viewership of any TV series.



NBC also says more than 25 million minutes were streamed live on digital platforms -- topping the 20.5 million minutes a year ago.

Few other networks looked to compete with NBC's fresh programming. Next best was CBS’ “Big Brother” at 9 p.m., which saw an average of a 2.2/6. ABC offered up the only other fresh programming, “The Quest,” which posted a 0.3/1, the same results as the previous week.

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