NFL Network set a viewership record for the NFL preseason over the weekend.
The Browns/Lions NFL preseason game drew a 1.8 U.S. rating and 2.8 million viewers on NFL Network Saturday night, the highest rated and most-watched preseason telecast ever on the network. The previous viewership record was held by the 2007 Saints/Steelers Hall of Fame Game (2.1M).
Keep in mind that NFL Network attracts far fewer viewers than the other NFL partners. Browns/Lions actually earned a smaller audience than every preseason game on NBC, CBS, FOX or ESPN since 2008, and paled in comparison to the recent Bills/Giants Hall of Fame Game on NBC (8.5M).
Compared to other sports, Saturday’s game earned a larger audience than all-but-one Major League Baseball telecast this season (a Rangers/Angels game on ESPN in June had 2.9 million viewers thanks to a World Cup lead-in).
(Fri. numbers from NFL Communications)