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NBC Pulls In Big Ratings With NFL Season Opener Between Broncos And Ravens

Last night, the NFL premiered a brand new season on NBC, propelling the network to Thursday’s best ratings with millions and millions of viewers. The season opener between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens brought in a whopping total of 25.1 million total viewers, doing better than last year’s season opener, as well as pretty much anything else that airs on TV.

Before we get into the ratings, I’d like to point out that the Broncos pounded the Ravens, with quarterback Payton Manning throwing seven touchdown passes, which tied an NFL record. The final score ended up being Broncos 49, Ravens 27, thus cementing the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon puppy bowl predictions. Yesterday, the host sent nine puppies into a competition to see which of two labeled bowls the puppies would go for. A lot of predictions before the game had the Broncos winning it, but the (assumed) chance related to the puppy bowl made the cute video event even more appealing, and proved to be free advertising for the network before the game aired.


According to THR, last year’s game only brought in 23.9 million total viewers and a 9.7 rating, while this year’s game brought in the aforementioned 25 million plus total viewers and a 10.3 rating. That’s all the more impressive when we consider that the game was pushed back due to a rain delay and didn’t start at 8:30 p.m. EST, as was initially expected. Despite the huge Denver lead, it was still an exciting game, especially when the dude from the Broncos thought he scored a touchdown and accidentally dropped the ball right before the endzone, letting the ball roll out of bounds and returning it to the other team. Classic.

If evidence was ever needed as to football’s place in the television hierarchy, last night should have provided more than enough of an example explaining why football is the TV king. With a late start time, a partial blowout and seventeen entire weeks before the regular season will end, the NFL still put up major numbers last night. Throw in the recent settlement related to the concussion lawsuit and it’s been a damn near perfect few weeks for the NFL. The momentum doesn’t show any signs of letting up, either.

Sports typically bring in a pretty high viewership, partly due to the fact that of all TV content, games are still best when viewed live. Last night’s NFL season opener continued to prove that sports are a viable way for networks to pull in bigger numbers than even the most popular of the popular scripted shows, like NCIS and The Big Bang Theory.

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.