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NFL Network Draws Most-Viewed Opening 'TNF' Game for Jets-Patriots

NFL Network averaged 8.8 million viewers for its Thursday Night Football opener between the New York Jets and New England Patriots, according to Neilsen.

The Patriots' rain-soaked 13-10 victory was the most-watched and highest-rated opener (5.5 HH rating) in the eight seasons since NFL Network began airing live games. It was also Thursday's most-watched program on cable or broadcast (the game was simulcasted on Boston's ABC affiliate and New York's CBS station). Overall, the game was the fourth-most viewed.

The is the second season of the league-owned network's expanded 13-game slate. Next week's game features the return of Kansas City Chief's head coach Andy Reid to Philadelphia, where he served as the Eagles' coach for 13 seasons.

It's been a banner start to the year for the NFL's TV partners, as Fox and ESPN also posted their best-ever opening games.