DirecTV, NBC Split 'Friday Night Lights'

NBC's Friday Night Lights DirecTV's experiment as a co-carrier of NBC's "Friday Night Lights" appears to have kicked off reasonably well. The debut episode last Wednesday--shown on DirecTV's own "101 Network"--drew more than 400,000 viewers. The show was available in 17.1 million homes.

Within that DirecTV universe, if the "101" is considered part of the cable sphere, in the Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot, "FNL" finished second in the female 18-to-49 demo among all basic cable networks. It was unclear what led that pack, but Bravo's "Project Runway" competed against it.

"FNL" was seventh among men 18 to 49 versus basis cable networks at 9 p.m. And it was also No. 7 overall versus basic cable competition. DirecTV said in a statement that it was "very pleased with the results."

The satellite operator has exclusive rights to air all 13 episodes of "FNL's" third season this fall, before those same ones move to NBC early next year.



NBC executives have said they considered canceling the critically acclaimed show. But the deal with DirecTV that calls for the two to share in production costs helped shepherd its return.

Extrapolating what the results from the show's DirecTV debut augur for its popularity is difficult. When carried on NBC, it's available to some 114 million homes. Over the last two seasons, the show averaged 5.7 million viewers and a 2.1 in the 18-to-49 demo in season one. It had 6.2 million (2.2) last season.

The show airs ad-free on DirecTV, with Unilever a sponsor and plugging its Vaseline brand.

Next story loading loading..