NFL Kickoff: Ravens/Broncos Overnight Down, But Strong, on NBC

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A weather delay and a lopsided score led to a modest decline in overnight ratings for the NFL’s season opener.

Thursday’s Ravens/Broncos NFL Kickoff Game drew a 16.2 overnight rating on NBC, down 2% from Cowboys/Giants on a Wednesday night opposite the Democratic National Convention last year (16.5), and down 6% from Saints/Packers in 2011 (17.2). The game was delayed by a half-hour due to severe weather.

The 16.2 overnight is the lowest for the NFL Kickoff Game since Titans/Steelers in 2009 (13.8). Since hitting a record-high of 17.7 in 2010, overnights for the Kickoff Game have declined each year.

With that said, the 16.2 is also the fourth-best for the Kickoff Game (12 telecasts dating back to 2002), trailing only the past three years.

In addition, Thursday’s game earned the highest overnight for any sporting event since Game 7 of the NBA Finals in June (17.7), and the second-highest for any sporting event since the Super Bowl.

Denver led all markets for Thursday’s opener, with a 43.9 rating. Baltimore ranked second (37.6), followed by neutral markets New Orleans (25.1), Indianapolis (24.9) and Nashville (22.6).

(Thu. numbers from The Futon Critic)

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