Before the Chargers visited the Raiders in the first game ever to begin at 11:35 p.m. ET, we suggested that, if enough people were watch the West Coast prime-time game, the league could make it a semi-regular thing.
Enough people didn’t watch.
The league office advises that the audience for the game was a mere 2.5 million, including the local viewers in Oakland, who didn’t watch the game on NFLN. In contrast, the relatively ho-hum October 10 Thursday nighter between the Giants and Bears delivered an audience of 7.8 million — more than triple the late Sunday number.
The audience for the close-to-witching-hour kickoff possibly was inflated by those who tuned in for the novelty of it. If it were a semi-regular event, some of those would go elsewhere (like to bed), driving the audience down.
So, basically, if the NFL is going to look for more places to put cheese in the pizza, it turns out that plenty of people weren’t waiting all day — and night — for Sunday night in the Pacific time zone.