I speculated on this very website a couple of days ago that, while posting a great challenge, the NBA and college football across various networks would be no match to topple the 50 story tower that is the NFL on Thursdays, despite the game being lousy in theory (Washington-Minnesota was actually surprisingly decent in practice).
Well, the numbers are in, and I am proven correct. NFL Network's broadcast of Washington's loss to the Minnesota Vikings drew a 5.4 overnight rating, winning the evening on cable. That rating is around the median for NFL Network broadcasts throughout this season, a constant reminder that football owns your very existance.
What about the rest of the sports world on Thursday? ESPN's telecast of Oregon-Stanford came the closest to usurping the champions last night, drawing a 4.1 overnight, easily the network's highest-rated Thursday night game of the season. Austin Karp speculated it would be ESPN's top-rated Thursday nighter since 2011.
The NBA on TNT was next in line, with Clippers-Heat and Rockets-Lakers averaging a decent 2.0 overnight. Following that was Baylor's blowout win over Oklahoma, which hit a 1.5 overnight on Fox Sports 1. While that was only good for fourth place, it was still FS1's highest-rated college football game of the season to date (topping Oregon-Washington), and one of the net's highest rated telecasts since debuting in August.
So, while the NFL still dominated, almost everybody got some sense of a victory from Thursday night's sports battle royale. Just remember, the NFL is still at the top of that hill.