The Philadelphia Eagles’ 22-21 win over the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football this week didn’t excite many NFL fans coming into the week, and the game itself was more notable for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones absolutely eating it on a long run in the third quarter.
Going head to head with the second (and final) presidential debate, TNF drew 10.069 million viewers on Fox and NFL Network, which is down 26% from Week 7’s Chiefs-Broncos matchup (13.68 million viewers). Notably, TNF this week drew fewer viewers than each NFL game that aired on Monday (12.160 million for Chiefs-Bills on Fox and NFL Network, 11.317 million for Cardinals-Cowboys on ESPN).
While the game itself wasn’t exactly a must-watch (the Eagles’ victory propelled them to first in the NFC East with a 2-4-1 record), the debate clearly sucked away potential viewers. Airing across several networks, it drew more than 57 million viewers.
Overall, while the number might seem disappointing, several windows for the NFL this year have drawn lower numbers. Notably, all three NFL Network exclusive TNF broadcasts failed to crack even the seven million mark, while two CBS windows failed to break ten million and a pair of Monday Night Football games with later than usual start times also fell under ten million viewers. Given the ridiculous attention paid to the debate, things could have been far worse for the NFL on Thursday.