TNF: 15.9M Viewers for Indy-Houston Battle

The most competitive of the five Thursday Night Fotball games thus far in the 2014 season drew the second-smallest audience.

CBS and NFL Network’s simulcast of the TNF matchup between the Houston Texans-Indianapolis Colts averaged a 10.0 rating and 15.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast national data. Those deliveries were up 69% from the 5.9 rating and 9.4 million viewers for the Oct. 10, 2013 battle between Chicago and New York Giants that aired on the cable network and affiliates in the participating clubs’ home DMAs.

The audience for the Oct. 9 telecast – Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton (pictured) and the Colts held off the Texans 33-28 in the final two minutes after JJ Watt and company rallied from a 24-0 second-quarter deficit -- ranked fourth out of the five TNF contests this season. It stood ahead of Atlanta’s 56-14 demolition of Tampa, which garnered 11.9 million watchers on Sept. 18.

Through five games of the CBS/NFL Network schedule, TNF has averaged a 10.0 rating and 15.9 million viewers, up 69% from last year’s 5.9 and 15.9 million watchers, a 67% rise from 9.4 million from that stage of the 2013 season.

Measured against last year’s CBS primetime programming (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) the Oct. 9 TNF scored a 32% ratings improvement to a 9.1 from a 6.9, while viewership expanded 30% to 14.4 million from 11.1 million. There was also substantial demo amelioration notably a 71% advance to 4.3 from 2.8 among adults 18 to 49 and 44% to a 5.6 from a 3.9 with adults 25 to 54.

CBS/NFL Network’s 9.0 rating beat each of the broadcast networks: 40% more than ABC’s 6.5, 84% above Fox' 3.2 and 203% greater than NBC’s 3.0. 

CBS/NFL Network’s 14.4 million primetime audience finished 52%, 182% and 227% ahead of ABC’s 9.5 million, Fox’s 5.1 million and NBC’s 4.4 million, respectively.