The NFL remains the undisputed king of American television.
Last night’s Hall of Fame Game drew a 6.9 overnight rating, making it by far the most-watched show on any network, and the most-watched NFL preseason game in three years.
To put into perspective how good a 6.9 overnight rating is, here’s a sample of sports programming that has had a lower overnight rating in the last year:
Stanley Cup Final Game 6: 5.6.
NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1: 5.6.
NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1: 5.4.
Indy 500: 4.3.
American League Championship Series Game 1: 4.0.
National League Championship Series Game 1: 3.5.
For a meaningless preseason game that the marquee players sat out, the NFL drew more viewers than other sports draw for the biggest events of the year. After an offseason in which Deflategate dominated the headlines, it appears that not only are fans not turned off, but if anything they’re as eager as ever for football to start. Even if that football is just a meaningless preseason game.