CBS' 'Thursday Night Football' Wins 16M Viewers

CBS’ new NFL "Thursday Night Football" series performed well in viewership for its first game -- as well as for advertisers. Preliminary Nielsen results have the series earning 5.5 rating/17 share among key 18-49 viewers and some 16 million viewers overall. Overall viewership should climb to around a 6.5 rating in 18-49 when all the final tallies are in.

The NFL Network portion of the simulcast with CBS is estimated to add about 1.0 or 1.3 in adult 18-49 ratings.  

For TV sponsors of the "TNF" series, the viewership numbers are generally in line with media agency estimates and ratings guarantees.

CBS guaranteed a 12.3 household rating for "Thursday Night Football." Nielsen preliminary household rating results place CBS at an 11.2 rating/19 share for the game and a 10.6/18 for the night overall. The eight-game CBS package runs from Sept. 11 to Oct. 30.

By way of comparison to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” -- another prime-time NFL series and the best, highest-rated TV series of last year -- the first game of the season for “SNL” pulled in a 9.0 rating among 18-49 viewers and 23.7 million overall viewers.

For the night, CBS averaged a 5.2 rating/17 share and 15.2 million viewers; NBC, a 1.4/4 and 5.0 million viewers; Univision, a 1.1/4 and 2.8 million overall viewers; Fox, a 0.7/2 and 2.5 million viewers; ABC, 0.5/2 and 2.1 million; and CW, a 0.2/1 and 700,000 viewers.

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