NFLN scores record audience for opening game

Though the on-screen product was enough to induce nausea in Chicago and yawning elsewhere, at least people were watching.

The debut of Thursday Night Football, during which Bears quarterback nearly matched his jersey number with interceptions, resulted in the most-watched opening game of the November-December series.

The league has announced that the game was viewed in, on average, 2.75 million homes, a 29-percent increase over last year’s debut.

The difference in 2009?  NFL Network is now carried on Comcast, the largest and without question the best cable provider in the United States.  (Hey, we need to start sucking up if those rumors are true.)

Last night’s broadcast was marred by an audio glitch that resulted in only the sound from the field — and nothing from the booth — being pumped into many homes. 

Some viewers simply thought that NFLN had decided to provide a Matt Millen-free alternative.

Actually, such an approach might result in more than 2.75 million homes watching the games — in Michigan alone.

20 responses to “NFLN scores record audience for opening game

  1. “The league has announced that the game was viewed in, on average, 2.75 million homes, a 29-percent increase over last year’s debut.”
    how in the hell is 2.75 million considered a good thing? maybe if they got this game on as many cable providers as possible (hint: CHARTER DAMNIT) then more folks would watch because they could. thats a pretty poor performance considering that the only real competition that was on was UFL (tuskers won btw)

  2. After about five minutes you realize that you have completely taken quality TV production for granted. It was like watching a local cable access show. All we needed was Bryant Gumbel.

  3. I would say that a good portion of the pie chart that shows those viewer’s numbers would have to be sports bars. NFLN is still exercising it’s exclusive monopoly over the situation. I still have to resort to a visit to the local pub because my cable provider doesn’t provide NFLN and it doesn’t look like any of the calls I’ve made or letter writing will do any good to try to get it. I understand the NFL’s greed. What I don’t understand is the fact that there are so many fans that would gladly pay additional amounts just to view their games either on a cable network or online. Their current business plan sucks.

  4. You forgot to mention that Bollinger was the best quarterback last night.
    Yes I do mean what I said, even if I spelled the name wrong.

  5. Coming in late on that game and not knowing who was calling it, it sounded a bit like our local anchor guy that also, quite poorly, calls the college games on local TV in Boise. Coming with a slogan like, “If you want the NFL, go to the NFL”, and hiring an uninteresting guy like Millen to talk for three hours on the flagship station makes me wonder who is making decisions at that company.

  6. Christ, get Verizon FIOS. Boom, problem solved.
    I used to have Brighthouse here in Tampa (TimeWarner) and not only did they not have NFLN but they had a shi-t selection of HD channels. Instead of everyone complaining about their crap cable package, just do something about it. It’s quite easy. Pick up the freaking phone, tell them you suck, and cancel. Am I missing something here. Do other towns not have options for the consumer or what???

  7. Watching in HD, I had no audio problems. There was a really bad glitch, though, right at the beginning of the game after the opening kickoff. They switched from a camera on Jay Cutler to one on the field really fast about 10 times. After recovering from epileptic seizure, I was fine and just watched the game.
    Unfortunately, as a football game, it sucked. Two bad quarterbacks.

  8. # cloudnine says: November 13, 2009 7:15 PM
    After about five minutes you realize that you have completely taken quality TV production for granted. It was like watching a local cable access show. All we needed was Bryant Gumbel.
    It was definitely amateur night in the production booth. What’s up with those end zone zoom cams. All they do is keep the fans from seeing the play.

  9. Way to be suckup bitches to a possible owner, Florio and Gang. If you think any cable is superior to DirecTV you are smoking some damn good shit…

  10. Florio I always let you know when I disagree with you.So saying this isnt just me trying to agree with you.
    Last night when I turned the game on I was one of the house that had the audio from the booth. But after watching to game for 30 minutes I had to turn it off and watch the Flyers game. Not because I love hockey but because I couldnt stand listening to the annoucers for another minute. They were so boring and dull ripping my hair out would have been more enjoyable. Also no matter if Millen was saying something correct or not that guy has so little creditablity that I cannot believe a word he says. Who ever is in the booth with him, although they were both boring, needs to distance himself from him. Because being associated with Millen cannot be good for his career.
    I hope that this isn’t a sign for what is to come from the NFLN coverage of thursday night football. Because I love that the NFL has done this, but I dunno if I can watch it if it continues to be so dull.
    On a side note I just switched from direct-tv back to comcast digital and I gotta say I missed it so much. Living the philadelphia region, where comcast is based, they had the monoply of local sports coverage. So on directv no matter how much money you paid you could never have comcastsportsnet philadelphia. Also even if you bought the sports packages 95% of philly games were blacked out. And because the local teams play on comcast sports net i couldnt watch any of them besides the Eagles. You said comcast is the best and I agree I just had my first week of the redzone channel and I LOVE IT. It is the greatest thing the NFL has ever done for its fans and I hope they dont get rid of it.

  11. I enjoyed the portion of the game with no announcers, just the game sound…it was pleasantly soothing. It drives me up a wall having two jagoffs try to walk you through every play over and over. They should have kept with that for the entire game.

  12. Time Warner sucks. I’ve been saying for years that it would be great to have an option to just have the stadium noise with no commentators. Then turning on the surround sound as loud as it goes and smoke a fatty and you’re good to go! Then finally this happens and Time Warner won’t get the NFL network because they don’t air the stupid Buckeyes. Too bad nobody listens to Browns fans because everyone thinks we’re stupid. Hmmm, guess this post doesn’t change that.

  13. I’m lucky enough to have Comcast, so I get the NFL Network and RedZone, which is downright addictive when I don’t have access to the game I want on Sunday. But I’d rather have a cable-based Sunday Ticket package, like the NFL’s current deal with DirecTV.
    I don’t want to switch to dish. Floridians have a lot of problems with temporary outages in their satellite telecasts every time a cloud–let alone a hurricane–passes by. Some people don’t mind looking at snow for five minutes. But I don’t want to be watching a scoring drive and suddenly have no picture. Now that the NFL finally has an agreement with Comcast, I wish they’d take it to the next level when DirecTV’s exclusive deal expires.

  14. 2.75 million you say?
    About 37 million watch the Viking/Packer game you say?
    I think there is something wrong with this picture.
    I know the NFLN is trying to get more cable companies to sign them on. But look at the advertising dollars they are loosing out on doing this.
    Plus alienating millions of fans.
    This sounds like something MLB would do.

  15. The NFL Network has been a huge disappointment since it’s inception. Now that their game schedule has begun, there’s actually something worth watching on it (production issues aside). Without the games it’s Deion Sanders on a loop for 8 hours a day with features on Brett Favre or Tom Brady interspersed.
    The NFL Network thinks every great game, every great moment and every great player has occured in the last six years. Seriously, if you want the NFL, go to ESPN Classic.
    Free NFL Films

  16. I actually like Millen as the announcer. Anything is better than freaking Joe Buck. I also hate the college announcers “Florida is a much better team than every other team that has every other played football and Tim Teabow is Jesus, Brett Favre is god.” Thanks mussberger.

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