The NFL took a backseat to politics on Thursday night, and it showed in the ratings.
The Thursday night NFL Kickoff special between Washington and the New York Giants drew an 8.6/15 final rating and 13.5 million viewers from 7-10:01 PM Thursday night, down 25% and 24% from an 11.5/20 and 17.8 million for the comparable Saints/Colts game last year.
The 8.6 rating makes Washington/Giants the lowest rated NFL Kickoff game since 2002, when 49ers/Giants drew a 7.6/15 on ESPN.
While the NFL took a major hit in the ratings, the Republican National Convention drew strong numbers. John McCain‘s acceptance speech drew 38.9 million viewers across 8 networks, including 8.7 million on NBC.