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TV Ratings: NFL Hall of Fame Game Easily Tops Broadcast Competition

The NFL Hall of Fame game easily beat out all of its broadcast competition in the Thursday overnight ratings, according to Nielsen data.

The game, which saw the Arizona Cardinals square off against the Dallas Cowboys, is currently averaging a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.8 million total viewers. However, due to the nature of live sports, those numbers are not time-zone adjusted and will likely change later today when the final figures are calculated.

In metered-market results, which are time zone-adjusted, NBC Sports coverage of the game averaged a 5.4 rating. That rating for the first-ever Thursday night Hall of Fame game is the best for a weeknight NFL preseason match in six years, since a 5.7 for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 18, 2011, on Fox.

Top local markets for the Cowboys-Cardinals game on NBC were: Dallas (13.9); San Antonio (13.5); Albuquerque (11.9); Phoenix (11.2); New Orleans (10.9); Austin (10.5); Norfolk (10.1); Richmond (8.9); Tulsa (8.6); and Memphis (8.5).

On CBS, “Big Brother” (1.9, 6.3 million) was even at 9 p.m., as was “Zoo” (0.5, 2.7 million) at 10 p.m.

“Boy Band” (0.5, 2.4 million), “Battle of the Network Stars” (0.6, 2.5 million), and “The Gong Show” (0.6, 2.3 million) were all steady on ABC.

On Fox, “Beat Shazam” (0.8, 2.7 million) dipped slightly in the demo. “Love Connection” (0.6, 2.2 million) inched up in total viewers.

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (0.4, 1.6 million) was even on The CW, and “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.4, 1.3 million) hit a season-high in both measures.

NBC won the night, currently averaging a 2.3 and 7.8 million viewers. CBS was a distant second with a 1.1 and 4.8 million viewers. Fox came in third with a 0.7 and 2.5 million. ABC finished fourth with a 0.5 and 2.4 million. The CW averaged a 0.4 and 1.5 million.

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