For Fox’s big Sunday “NFL on Fox” late afternoon games, San Francisco-Dallas/Carolina-Tampa Bay, it earned a strong Nielsen average 28.05 million viewers (down 2% from its first game of a year ago) and a 10.3 rating/37 share among 18-49 viewers (off 3% from last year).
Later that night, for its 9 p.m. “Sunday Night Football” game between Indianapolis and Denver, NBC posted 23.69 million viewers (down 7%) and a 9.0 rating/26 share among 18-49 viewers (off 10%).
For the NFL season opener, NBC’s “NFL Kickoff” game airing on Thursday, the network earned 26.9 million viewers (up 7% versus the year before) and 10.2/32 among 18-49 viewers (down 1%).
For its Sunday afternoon games, CBS’ “NFL on CBS” series earned an average 16.5 million viewers (up 6% versus a year ago) from games including New England-Miami, Oakland-New York Jets, Tennessee-Kansas City, Cleveland-Pittsburgh, Cincinnati-Baltimore and Jacksonville-Philadelphia.
ESPN’s first game of its “Monday Night Football” doubleheader of the season earned a Nielsen 13.7 million viewers for its New York Giants-Detroit Lions contest. In its second game, Arizona-San Diego earned 11.5 million viewers.
A year before, ESPN, with another season-opening “MNF” doubleheader, pulled in 16.52 million viewers for the first game featuring Philadelphia and Washington, and 11.0 million viewers for the second game, between Houston and San Diego.