With Week 17 upon us, it means that the Thursday and Monday evening primetime slates are in the books for 2015. In the second year of the new Thursday Night Football arrangement between CBS and NFL Network, the package saw an increase in television ratings and viewership this year.
Throughout the entire schedule, TNF averaged 13 million viewers and a 7.93 rating, up modestly (6% and 5% respectively), but still up nonetheless. It helps that since the move to CBS, Thursday Night Football has been treated by the league as the second most important package and has received a number of attractive, divisional matchups, especially in the CBS portion of the calendar.
Here’s the release via CBS…
For the 16 games of the 2015 schedule, THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on CBS and NFL Network (and over-the air stations) averaged 13.0 million viewers, +6% compared to last year’s 12.3 million; and a national household rating/share of 7.93/14, +5% compared to last year’s 7.57/13 in 2014 on CBS/NFL Network and over-the-air stations making it the most-watched and highest-rated THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL season ever.
All eight THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL games on CBS/NFL Network during Weeks 2-8, & 14 resulted in the No. 1-rated and most-watched program on television in primetime for that night across all networks. In addition, the simulcast on NFL Network was the No. 1-rated and most-watched program on cable television for Weeks 2, 3 & 4.
All six THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL primetime games on NFL Network and over-the-air stations (Weeks 9-16) were the highest-rated and most-watched program on cable television for each of the Thursday nights they aired.
These ratings are exactly why the NFL is taking the Thursday night package to the market in hopes of cashing in on the newfound popularity of professional football on Thursdays. And it’s why they’re going to expand it even more in hopes of adding an online streaming partner for the games. Sooner or later anyone walking planet earth will have access to Thursday Night Football.