Thursday Night Football

Last Thursday was the first week for NFL Network to air live football without CBS simulcasting the game. And against some strong competition, the NFL remains king of television whether it be broadcast or cable.

Thursday Night Football with New Orleans beating Carolina averaged 6.88 million viewers on NFL Network making it the most-watched program on cable TV that night. By comparison, CBS’ Big Bang Theory back on Thursday after making way for the NFL for seven weeks received an amazing 16.25 million viewers, almost equaling the average viewership for TNF on the Tiffany Network at 16.5 million.

Opposite New Orleans-Carolina on NFL Network was Louisville-Florida State college football on ESPN and LeBron James’ homecoming to Cleveland on TNT.

While college football and the NBA did quite well for their respective networks, they still could not beat the NFL. College football averaged 4.97 million viewers while New York at Cleveland on TNT mustered just over 4 million viewers.

In the coveted 18-49 demographic, TNF scored a 2.3 rating while the NBA on TNT grabbed a 1.7 and college football on ESPN averaged a 1.6.

Next week with Cincinnati and Cleveland on Thursday Night Football, we’ll see if the NFL’s dominance can continue opposite Clemson-Wake Forest on ESPN and San Antonio-Houston on TNT.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.