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Expanded 'Thursday Night Football' Slate Sets Record for NFL Network

NFL Network's expanded 13-game Thursday Night Football slate averaged a record-high 7.3 million viewers per game, according to Nielsen.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that TNF has set a viewership record for the network (NFL Network began airing live games in 2006). Thursday Night Football also averaged a 4.6 HH rating (including viewership from the over-the-air stations in the particiating teams' DMAs), which was up 8% from 2011 and also a record for the network.

The Thursday Night Football opener on Sept. 13 between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers was the most-watched of the season with 10.8 million viewers, and the fourth-highest overall.

In addition to adding five games to what had been heretofore an eight-game campaign, TNF also benefited from a much larger subscriber base this season, as the service finally added Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to its distribution roster. That pushed NFL's sub count to some 70 million from 57 million when it kicked off its eight-game 2011 season schedule.