The NFL’s opening game, featuring champion Denver Broncos versus the Carolina Panthers, averaged a 16.5 household rating and 29 share in metered market households, said NBC, from 8:45 p.m. until midnight.
The rating is television’s highest score in Nielsen’s metered markets, added NBC, since the Rio Olympics. The game was a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl; the Broncos held on for a 21-20 win Thursday.
But it’s down a bit from last year’s opener, when a Pittsburgh Steelers-New England Patriots telecast hit a 17.7 rating and 30 share. With huge interest surrounding Tom Brady’s Deflategate issues, that matched a 2010 rating for the highest NFL opener ever.
In Denver, last night’s game did a 46.9/74, while in Charlotte it rated a 33.2/52.
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