As everyone is probably aware, primetime NFL football is always a ratings monster, no matter what time of year it is or who is playing. And as everyone probably assumed, one of the best ways to make those numbers even higher is to debut a brand spanking new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer during the broadcast. That happened during halftime of last night’s contest, and it unsurprisingly boosted the numbers out into space. Well not really, but still.
While the final Nielsen number aren’t in yet, it looks like last night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants - for which Bradley Cooper was in attendance - earned a 9.6 metered market rating, which is 13% higher than last week’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers. But around 15 minutes before the trailer premiered, the ratings skyrocketed to hit an 11.7 metered market rating and stayed that way until after the trailer was finished. It’s at this point that I’m betting people flocked to the Internet to see what features and breakdowns they could find.
It’s still early in the season, but only the October 5 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions beat out the 9.6 rating, but obviously didn’t top the 11.7 halftime peak. I’m betting that everyone at ESPN and NBC are now thinking about other ways to bring in ratings like this, although it’s hard to come up with something comparable to a new Star Wars trailer. Perhaps when Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad gets a new promo, one of those networks might snatch it up.
Let’s be honest here. We already expected that more people would be watching the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer than the game, because J.J. Abrams’ entry into the franchise is easily one of the most anticipated films of all time. Not that the Eagles or the Giants were interested in giving those audiences a great game to watch, as it was one of the sloppiest football games I can think of, and the two teams combined for 21 penalties and 7 turnovers. I’m pretty sure BB-8 could have rolled onto the field and intercepted one of Eli Manning’s passes.
Unsurprisingly, the game beat the metered market average in both New York, which had a combined 14.0 rating with both ESPN and WPIX-CW airing the game, and Philadelphia, where it had a whopping combined 32.3 rating, from both ESPN and WPHL-IND. According to TheWrap, the game was also the third-biggest Monday Night Football has ever brought into WatchESPN, and was up 89% over the Week 6 game in 2014.
Now we’re just wondering what the ratings were like on Jakku.