Cowboys-Bengals was the highest rated preseason game in six years

We heard a theory on Bill Simmons’ podcast that the NFL has “snuck up” on fans this year after a calendar sports year overstocked with compelling stories.

That may be true — although we doubt it — but it certainly didn’t dull the pent-up demand for live football.

NBC’s telecast for the Hall of Fame game last night drew a 7.6 overnight rating and a 13 share, the highest rating for a preseason game since the Cowboys and Titans played on August 30, 2004.  It was up 31% over last year’s Hall of Fame game — the Bills vs. Titans.

(Here’s a list of the top-watching markets. New Orleans was the highest of any market without a connection to the game.)

Not only did the Hall of Fame game crush Red Sox-Yankees as expected, it should wind up being the highest rated show on all of television all week.

It’s official: Cowboys third-string quarterback Stephen McGee is now a superstar.

31 responses to “Cowboys-Bengals was the highest rated preseason game in six years

  1. That’s pretty cool. Even more impressive seeing as how it was a pretty boring game to watch, overall.

  2. That’s because America wanted to see the divas fight over who gets the ball more!!! they are both over rated piles of poop, just like the junk jets!!! GO FINS!!!

  3. Is there any truth to the rumor that NBC is trying to
    change the name of the Dallas Cowboys to the
    TEJAS BOYS ?
    NBC’s broadcast of the Cowboys and Bengals game
    actually had Spanish sub-text running with the game
    in the Austin

  4. Well it is the first taste of football since the Superbowl (which was awesome, by the way. Suck it, Manning). I’d guess the subsequent preseason games will have lower ratings.

  5. It probably has more to do with the temperatures being so hot that no one wants to be outside! It was still low 90’s here that late in the evening!

  6. So Bungal and Cowpoke fans wanted to see their 4th stringers play? I guess the fans want 4 preseason games if ratings this high!

  7. even if the dolphins have 53 players that dont get arrested, allowing them to put a team out each week, theyre not going anywhere anyway

  8. I know I did not watch a single minute of the game, I was watching the better product, Yankees crushing the Redsucks

  9. To be honest I enjoyed watching the EA Sports Madden 2011 Gamers vs Famers game before hand, it was way more interesting.!

  10. mcgee is a superstar?? in what league???? i don’t think even think he should be on the practice squad.

  11. I dunno about the rest of the country but this Summer has brought numerous brutal heat waves here on the East Coast. Watching football last night cooled down my brain.
    I’m sure ratings were helped by the hope of getting a glimpse of what that Bengal offense can do.

  12. i used to live in louisiana. ive heard on several occasions there are more cowboys fans in new orleans than saints fans.

  13. The reason is quite simple… America’s Team. Notice who was playing last times the ratings were so high… America’s Team. Suck it to all fans of any other team in the NFL. Dallas Cowboys Baby!

  14. anytime my boys are on prime time its a must see. Come on haters…suck it up and get your orgs into primetime mther fers…
    LMFAO.

  15. Beastie Bills says:
    August 9, 2010 1:00 PM
    I can sum up the reason I watched in two letters….
    T.O.
    _________________________________
    T.O. – “I’m Batman….”
    (uncomfortable silence)
    (uncomfortable silence)
    (uncomfortable silence)
    Ochocinco – “and I’m Robin?”

  16. Cincinnati had the highest number of viewers, is half the size (or less) of Dallas, and I have never met a Cowboy fan while living in Cincinnati for the last 16 years. I would say it was mostly Bengals fans. I know I was going through serious football withdrawal. I was watching a ’97 college game on another ESPN channel earlier in the day, and I didn’t like either of the teams playing.

  17. Just going by the cheers and boos on TV, sounded like there was a lot more Cowboys fans at the game than Bengals.

  18. (Declaración de Su Excelencia, el Presidente de México, Felipe Calderón.
    Los Pinos, Bosque de Chapultepec, Ciudad de México.
    09 de agosto 10.)
    Votaciones en la televisión y la radio siguen siendo más elevados cuando el heroico equipo de México, los Vaqueros de Dallas, está jugando!
    Es la única vez que dejamos de matar unos a otros por unas horas!

  19. “Brad Miller says:
    August 9, 2010 1:36 PM
    The reason is quite simple… America’s Team. Notice who was playing last times the ratings were so high… America’s Team. Suck it to all fans of any other team in the NFL. Dallas Cowboys Baby!”

  20. “secret99 says:
    August 9, 2010 1:25 PM
    i used to live in louisiana. ive heard on several occasions there are more cowboys fans in new orleans than saints fans.”
    —-
    Completely wrong. Shreveport, which is pretty close to the Texas border, is split between Cowboys and Saints fans, but New Orleans is Saints Country. I imagine New Orleanians are just excited about football considering their team is the defending champ.

  21. But… but… Goodell said the fans HATED preseason. He wouldn’t lie just get his own way, would he?

  22. People will watch the Cowboys even in the preseason.
    No one really wants to see the Bills in preseason or ever for that matter which is why you won’t find them in prime time very often.

  23. Want to see how strong the NFL’s draw really is. Schedule the Bills versus the Rams or the Browns for the HOF game next year.

  24. I’m sure it’s because the Bengals are so popular, like the way the Titans were really popular six years ago.

  25. Let’s face it, most people would rather watch the Cowboy’s third stringers than the starters from the NFL’s ghettos of Jacksonville, Buffalo, Oakland, Detroit or Cleveland.

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