The first NFL telecast of the preseason had a modest rise in viewership compared to last year.
Thursday’s Seahawks/Chargers NFL preseason game drew 4.390 million viewers on ESPN, up 18% from the comparable game last year (CAR/BAL: 3.729M), but down 8% from the comparable game in 2009 (AZ/PIT: 4.755M).
For some perspective, ESPN drew larger audiences for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Pocono (5.485M) and Sunday night’s Yankees/Red Sox game (4.722M).
Due to the cancellation of the August 7 Hall of Fame Game, Thursday’s game was the first nationally televised NFL game of the preseason.
(Thursday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)