TNF: CBS/NFLN Easily Win The Night Again

Another stinker on the field didn’t stop the CBS/NFL Network simulcast of Thursday Night Football from easily winning the Nielsen race.

The Oct. 2 telecast of Green Bay’s 42-10 throttling of Minnesota scored a 9.8 rating and 16.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast nationals data, a tally that included 2.69 million viewers on NFLN. That was up 113% and 117% from the 4.6 rating and 7.6 million watchers for Buffalo-Cleveland last season that aired only on the cable network and affiliate stations in the participating clubs’ DMAs.  

CBS and NFLN are reporting audience data for the game and related programming as a gross rating from both networks -- the way it was sold to advertisers.

Through four games of the CBS/NFL Network schedule, TNF has averaged a 9.9 rating and 16.2 million watchers, respective advances of 65% and 71% versus a 6.0 and 9.5 million viewers from that stage of the 2013 campaign in which the contests aired only on NFLN and the teams’ in-market broadcast stations.

Gauged against CBS’s primetime programming from the corresponding Thursday in 2013, the Oct. 2 simulcast presentation of TNF was up 33% in viewers (15.8 million from 11.9 million)  and 25% in rating  to a 9.4 from a 7.5. On the demo watch, the tallies were ahead 83% to a 5.5 from a 3.0 among the 18-to-49 set and 46% to a 6.0 from a 4.1 against adults 25 to 54.

CBS/NFLN’s 9.4 primetime rating beat each of the broadcast networks, up 34% from ABC’s 7.0, 169% above Fox’s 3.5 and 194% more than NBC’s 3.2. 

The combined audience of 15.8 million surpassed ABC’s 10.4 million by 52%, Fox’s 5.6 million by 182% and NBC’s 4.8 million by 229%.

TNF continues on Oct. 9 with an AFC South matchup featuring Indianapolis at Houston.