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Late-night Sunday night football likely won’t become a regular feature

San Diego Chargers v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

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.

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24 Responses to “Late-night Sunday night football likely won’t become a regular feature”
  1. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Oct 16, 2013 4:50 PM

    Put the game on network TV and people will watch at 3:00 AM. Not enough people have NFLN. You’d think if you cared enough to pay for it, you’d care enough to watch.

  2. mackcarrington says: Oct 16, 2013 4:56 PM

    I live on the West Coast and I had forgotten the game was even on until the second quarter. I was programmed into thinking that football for Sunday was done after the 1st Sunday Night game.

  3. jdcush31 says: Oct 16, 2013 4:58 PM

    Still an extra 2.5 million viewers that they wouldn’t have normally had viewing replays of post game highlights.

  4. maiphatdong says: Oct 16, 2013 5:01 PM

    no self respecting nfl fan wants to see the raiders play

  5. 4ever85 (aka Butch DeadLift) says: Oct 16, 2013 5:07 PM

    I think the Raiders should always play at night. Just seems right.

  6. macker1283 says: Oct 16, 2013 5:11 PM

    Would it really be that difficult to lineup the teams playing on Thursday night to be teams coming off Bye Weeks??? If the safety thing is an actual issue and not just a convenient excuse for people who dont want thursday night games.

  7. dwarftosser says: Oct 16, 2013 5:18 PM

    CST here, and I didn’t watch. It was too late, and after watching 9+ hours of football already I wasn’t really that pumped for the Chargers-Raiders.

  8. maddogwhite says: Oct 16, 2013 5:19 PM

    I miss the late season Saturday games that the NFL used to play after college football ended. Whatever happened to them? Oh, that’s right. Roger Goodell.

  9. NoWearMan says: Oct 16, 2013 5:22 PM

    Dino Costa.

  10. j4g3rb0mb3d says: Oct 16, 2013 5:29 PM

    If it were the 49ers or Seahawks playing, I would have watched it. But, it was for two teams who have no hopes of making the playoffs. I think I made the right decision going to bed.

  11. lance19 says: Oct 16, 2013 5:45 PM

    I’m a long-time Charger fan with a vested interest in the Raider rivalry…

    but even I didn’t expect fans to stay up late to see a 2-2 team vs. a 1-3 team

  12. staffordsyear says: Oct 16, 2013 5:46 PM

    Boo, i rather enjoyed the late night game and would welcome it.

  13. schmitty2 says: Oct 16, 2013 5:52 PM

    2 reasons for this. Many people dont have NFLN and it was the Raiders vs Chargers.

  14. dumbaseinstien says: Oct 16, 2013 5:56 PM

    NFL Network is just Roger Goodell’s attempt to force people to pay more for the product, with the intent to put pressure on Network Cable to either pay more or transition all NFL games on to the Network, giving the NFL total control of the money & viewership. In the end, it won’t work. In fact, it will depress the NFL viewership significantly & reduce the total revenue. All of Goodell’s ideas hurt more than they help.

  15. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 16, 2013 6:52 PM

    Watching games before noon sucks.

    Watching games after 1:00 a.m. sucks.

  16. yourmomsnewfriend says: Oct 16, 2013 7:21 PM

    West coast here. Also, fan of the AFC West. So, a game I would normally watch. But man, it really was late. I can only imagine just how ridiculous an idea it would be for someone on the east coast to watch that thing. It probably didn’t end until sunrise in New York.

  17. armstrongsmissingball says: Oct 16, 2013 7:31 PM

    Show all the games live on NFL.com for a season fee. I will watch jags vs giants at 1AM if I have access and nothing better to watch.

  18. slick1ru2 says: Oct 16, 2013 7:36 PM

    70 million households get the NFL Network, not sure why people keep saying many don’t get it. That’s well over half the homes with TVs so by definition, most do get NFL Network.

  19. rayguyreturns says: Oct 16, 2013 9:02 PM

    The solution is to reschedule BASEBALL games or build a new stadium.

  20. raiderapologist says: Oct 16, 2013 9:19 PM

    If it had been any team but the Raiders, I would not have stayed up to watch it. And if I had a regular job and had to get up early Monday to go to work, I would not have stayed up for it.

  21. briang123 says: Oct 16, 2013 9:40 PM

    I love the degenerate special every Saturday night in college football (Usually the Hawaii game) that allows me to have one more game to bet on, especially when I took a bath on that day’s game. However, since everyone knows there is no gambling on the NFL, they won’t be adding a degenerate special on Sunday night.

  22. tmcgee102 says: Oct 16, 2013 11:16 PM

    Two-thirds of the country was asleep when the first quarter ended. the numbers being that low is not a surprise. if you honestly expected the game to draw a typical TNF audience you are not too bright.

  23. rectumdamnnearkilledem says: Oct 17, 2013 1:15 AM

    I know I am in the minority, but I liked having a game on at 8:30 p.m. on the West Coast. I used to live on the East Coast and was used to having a few beers while watching a late game then getting to bed around midnight. So much better watching NFL at night …I just cant get used to games starting at 10 a.m.

  24. 4thand48 says: Oct 17, 2013 10:27 PM

    Actually the rest of the NFL prefers the Raiders play the late late game.

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