Remember last year when everyone was freaking out over the NFL’s early season ratings dip? Perhaps we all jumped the gun just a bit. Thursday night’s Hall of Fame preseason game on NBC reminded the TV-viewing world that football is still king.
Over the course of the night, NBC topped the ratings chart with a 2.3 rating/10 share in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 audience demographic and in total viewers with a 7.8 million average, TheWrap reports. The Dallas Cowboys’ narrow 20-18 victory over the Arizona Cardinals was the night’s big winner, even if it was just preseason. According to the more frequently used metered markets rating, the contest was the most-watched Hall of Fame game in six seasons.
CBS came in a close second place Thursday night thanks to Big Brother. The network scored a 1.1/5 share and a 4.8 million viewer average, according to TheWrap. FOX came in third with a 0.7/3 and in viewers with 2.5 million.
In 2016, many fans across the country declared a boycott of the NFL due to the National Anthem protest of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. While that did chip away slightly at the NFL’s overall viewership, the real cause for the sport’s early ratings decline was the presidential election. Two of the most-watched presidential debates in history went head-to-head with primetime football games.