The Thursday Night Football machine isn’t slowing down – in fact, it’s only picking up steam. This week’s matchup between the Broncos and Chiefs drew a 14.3 overnight on CBS and NFL Network, 4% up from the previous high mark for TNF (Ravens-Steelers last season).
The 4% jump isn’t really a large one – in fact, the game’s 12.9 primetime overnight was identical to last year’s Ravens-Steelers primenight overnight. But nevertheless, it’s still a new high for a franchise that only made its broadcast debut last season for CBS.
That new record may not last long, however. Next week’s Redskins-Giants matchup is one that could bring in plenty of eyeballs from the northeast, and the week after that features a matchup of the previous high watermark – Ravens-Steelers.
In fact, over the rest of TNF’s CBS schedule this season (which ends after Week 8), there are a couple of tantalizing matchups past the two just mentioned. Week 7 will feature the Seahawks and 49ers, while Week 8 features a potentially crucial battle between the Dolphins and Patriots.
Once the schedule veers into NFL Network exclusivity in November, the matchups get worse – Week 10’s Bills-Jets matchup or Week 13’s Packers-Lions game are probably the best games left. But without a broadcast television airing, none of those games were going to come close to eclipsing the Broncos-Chiefs rating.