Last night’s Thursday Night Football debut (as always, the season-opening Thursday game is technically Sunday Night Football) between Tampa Bay and Carolina faced a few obstacles, from a ratings standpoint.

Chief among them: a 27-minute weather delay midway through the first quarter. In addition to that, the game itself was pretty bad; yes, it came down to a goal-line stand late in the fourth, but the quarter-by-quarter scoreline looked more like a tennis match than a football game.

There was also the fact that the game was going up against a Democratic primary debate on ABC and Univision, a three-hour broadcast that drew 14 million viewers to win the night overall. It even faced network sports competition, as FOX aired a national baseball game despite the fact that they’re the network producing these NFL Network exclusives, including having Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call. That’s related to their revamped college football strategy:

And yet, with all of these factors considered, the numbers really weren’t that bad.

The FOX baseball broadcast, meanwhile, did okay:

Next week’s Thursday game: Tennessee at Jacksonville, which is the last NFL Network exclusive for a while, as Fox takes over; those games will be aired on both networks. There should be less competition next week, although it’s hurricane season, which means there’s no guarantee on the weather. Hopefully the pregame audio goes smoothly next week, at least.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.