ESPN scores big with NFL opener

Chiefs-Raiders game nabs 7.1 rating

NEW YORK — Chalking up strong Nielsen numbers on the opening night of the season, ESPN has started to earn back the staggering $4.8 billion it ponied up for exclusive cable rights to a Sunday-night package of National Football League games.

ESPN rushed to a 7.1 rating in cable homes, reaching 5.3 million households, for the Oakland-Kansas City game this past Sunday, starting at 8:15 p.m. ET. That rating was 13% higher than the 6.3 rating pulled in by the opening night game a year ago, on TNT, between Washington and Carolina. (Last year, ESPN shared the weekly Sunday games with TNT, which had exclusive rights to the contests during the first half of the season.)

Pregame popularity

The pregame “Sunday NFL Primetime” show at 7:30 p.m. harvested a 3.7 rating in cable households, which was 16% higher than that of a year ago. The national rating for the show was a 2.9, and it reached 2.8 million homes.

The Sunday-night programming, coupled with a NASCAR race on Sunday afternoon from 1 to 5 and a college-football game between Tennessee and Syracuse Saturday from noon to 3:39 p.m., helped ESPN finish a rare No. 1 among all cable networks for the week, with a 3.0 rating in cable homes.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading