Thursday’s matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens was the final Thursday Night Football broadcast on CBS for the 2017 NFL season. Unfortunately, the ratings for the telecast didn’t send CBS out with a bang.
A lackluster clash between the 4-2 Miami Dolphins (without Jay Cutler) and 3-4 Baltimore Ravens, coming off two straight losses, wasn’t enough to attract a larger audience. And a game that eventually became a 40-0 Ravens win wasn’t competitive enough to retain the viewers who did tune in. As a result, this week’s TNF — which was broadcast on CBS, NFL Network and Amazon — averaged an 8.4 overnight rating, the lowest of the season thus far.
That number is also a 15 percent drop from last week’s Raiders-Chiefs TNF telecast, which drew a 9.9 overnight rating. And that game didn’t even have a cat running around on the field.
Here kitty kitty… pic.twitter.com/oveS5lGgQV
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 27, 2017
Considering the kitty was probably the highlight of Thursday’s Dolphins-Ravens tilt, that might explain those ratings. Though it would have involved NFL Network personalities, rather than CBS staff, maybe TNF could have benefited from letting Steve Smith and Michael Irvin fight. (That may have been difficult, geographically.) Ultimately, CBS might be happy with winning the night overall, topping all networks in prime time.
A comparison to last year’s Week 8 TNF ratings isn’t really pertinent, since that Jaguars-Titans game was only shown on NFL Network. (If you’re curious, it drew a 3.2 rating.) But if there was an attempt to spin that, the boast could be made that this year’s Week 8 TNF game was a 100 percent increase in metered markets, as Deadline’s Dominic Patten points out. No year-to-year ratings decline for Week 8!
Week 9’s TNF featuring Bills-Jets will only be exclusively televised on NFL Network (no Amazon stream for that one, either) before NBC takes the baton from CBS for its five Thursday night games this season.