Thanksgiving TV ratings up for two good games, down for blowout

Getty Images

If you’re in the camp that thinks the NFL’s TV ratings decline this season has been powered primarily by bad games, the ratings from Thanksgiving suggest you may be on to something.

This year, the two afternoon games were good games and the prime time game was a blowout. And so it’s no surprising that the two afternoon games saw their ratings increase from last Thanksgiving (when the two afternoon games were blowouts), while the prime time game saw its ratings decrease from last Thanksgiving (when the prime time game was a good one).

In the early game, CBS got a 14.4 overnight rating for Lions-Vikings, a close game that was decided on a last-second field goal. That’s up 5 percent from the 13.7 overnight rating for the early game last year, when the Lions beat the Eagles in a blowout.

In the second game, FOX got a 15.6 overnight rating for the Dallas-Washington game, which was competitive into the fourth quarter. That’s up 2 percent from the 15.4 overnight rating last year, when the Panthers blew out the Cowboys.

And in the prime time game, NBC got a 10.8 overnight rating for the Steelers blowing out the Colts. That’s way down from the 14.6 overnight rating for last year’s prime time game, a last-minute Bears win over the Packers.

So when the early games were close and competitive, fans gathered around the television. When the late game was a blowout, fans opted to get some tryptophan-induced sleep or even — gasp! — turn off the TV and talk to their families.

For the NFL, there’s a lesson to be learned here about quality of play. Unfortunately, no one seems to agree on which steps need to be taken to improve quality of play.

54 responses to “Thanksgiving TV ratings up for two good games, down for blowout

  1. buttfumbles says:
    Nov 25, 2016 12:53 PM
    Lol @ people who thought the rating were down because Kaepernick took a knee.
    ———————————————
    I wonder how many people at home weren’t standing and/or did not take their hat off for the anthem. I bet at least 98% of them. #hypocrites

  2. The ratings were never down because of the protests cable cutting TNF commercial overload and the worst officiating Ive seen since becoming a football fan are the reason. The onfield product is just pretty average right now. AFC north and south both stink West has Oakland with a terrible defense but exciting offense and Denver and KC are qb challenged sometimes. Pats are the only dominant AFC team I see right now. NFC west besides Seattle all stink South besides Atlanta are really average NFC east has good football and the north besides the Lions all stink.

  3. No matter how bad the in-laws are you can only take so many commercials in one day. Three games is too many in one day.

  4. ” or even — gasp! — turn off the TV and talk to their families. ”

    How dare you even suggest that! That goes against every Thanksgiving tradition I hold dear!

  5. @buttfumbles so the people that say they stopped watching because of Kaepernick are lying? For one day, 2 of 3 games had an increase in ratings over last year. That’s enough proof for you? What about all of the other weeks thus season?

  6. NFL Owners lobbied for their teams to get prime time this year, which is understandable…but the reality is nobody gives a bit about Tennessee vs Jacksonville outside of their small markets. Lesson learned.

  7. i watched both early games. turned off steelers in late 3rd quarter. simpsons 600 episodes on fx 1st to last over 15 days. turned that on. love homer, probably cuz my kids say i look like him haha.

  8. Traditionally it used to be just two games, Lions v …, and Cowboys v … This third game should ensure a rivalry game is played. Bears-Packers is usually always entertaining. With the Rams back in LA, maybe the league should look at a SF vs LA and rotate several rivalry games at this time. Pittsburgh v Indy (minus Luck) not as compelling.

  9. Football overload, people back on the road traveling, total exhaustion from dealing with family and friends all day, blah, blah, blah.

    There’s a million reasons why ratings would be down for the third game…

  10. I never turn my cable box off. All week long, it’s tuned to whatever channel the Giants game was on the previous week. The major networks must think I’m a real junkie.

  11. 6ball says: The Steelers – Colts game was over once Pittsburgh took the insurmountable 7-0 lead.
    So sad, so true. Thanks, Grigson…as a Colt fan, I took my wife to the movies instead of watching…

  12. At what time during the games are these ratings taken? Who actually participates in these ratings? I know no one who has. Does anyone else? Oh and three NFL games is too many. Eliminate all Thursday games except Thanksgiving or just limit Thursday night games to only November as a Salute to Service month.

  13. It really is crazy that people don’t think kapernick had a huge effect on the ratings dip. It clearly wasn’t the only thing driving the decline but it can be considered the straw that broke the camels back. All you have to do is realize that of all the other issues sighted as the reasons, the only thing that is undeniably different from last year are the anthem protests. The NFL has had bad matchups before, they’ve had replacement refs before, deflategate and bounty gate were 2 and 5 or 6 years ago. The only thing different is the protests.

    So why are ratings coming back a little bit? Simple, people get over things and the media isn’t making nearly as big of a deal as they did in the beginning or the season.

  14. It is ironic that the owners’ lust for the traditional Thanksgiving Day game held forever by Detroit and later by Dallas, led to full-time Thursday night football, which indirectly has affected the ratings.

  15. No one cares about the Colts anymore, and without Luck everyone knew there wasn’t any point in watching.

  16. 26predator says:
    Nov 25, 2016 1:45 PM
    It is ironic that the owners’ lust for the traditional Thanksgiving Day game held forever by Detroit and later by Dallas, led to full-time Thursday night football, which indirectly has affected the ratings.
    _________________
    Not remotely true

  17. I wonder how many people at home weren’t standing and/or did not take their hat off for the anthem. I bet at least 98% of them. #hypocrites
    ————————————————————————————–

    I actually stood up while Aretha sang. Big mistake. My legs were hurting by the time she finished

  18. After extra point in Skins-Cowboys game I flipped channel to miss commercials. saw a round of silly questions on Family Feud and back before kickoff, that is way too many ads

  19. That game was gonna be lower once Luck was announced as out. Probably would have been an enjoyable watch for those into high scoring games…

  20. Frum Slum says:
    Nov 25, 2016 2:02 PM
    I wonder how many people at home weren’t standing and/or did not take their hat off for the anthem. I bet at least 98% of them. #hypocrites
    ————————————————————————————–

    I actually stood up while Aretha sang. Big mistake. My legs were hurting by the time she finished
    —————————————————————
    To that point, I’m not sure why people don’t get up in arms when singers butcher the national anthem and turn it into something it is not. Apparently, some like to make up their own unwritten rules about what patriotism should look like.

  21. .
    @abinf

    ” Imagine the ratings of a Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl. I don’t think the Patriots will make it, though. ”
    —–

    It’s very true that the Patriots need to improve their overall game before the playoffs. However, I’m not sure about about Dallas waltzing past Seattle and getting a free pass into the Super Bowl.
    .

  22. Get rid of Pass interference unless the player is tackled before the ball comes to him. Get rid of replay it slows down the game and let the calls on the field stand. I’d much rather argue over a miss call than arguing if a players knee was down and at what millisecond it hit. roughing the QB can only happen when he’s in the pocket and no more thursday games.

  23. buttfumbles says:
    Nov 25, 2016 12:53 PM

    Lol @ people who thought the rating were down because Kaepernick took a knee.
    —————–
    Real Americans won. You lost. Get over it already Sheila.

  24. The only demographic “offended” by the Kaepernick situation is the fat, white guy with type 2 diabetes that suffer from “Dickie Do” disease. That means that their stomachs stick out further than their “Dickie Do”. Go enjoy another coca cola and papa john’s pizza……

  25. How fitting that during the one holiday in which modern Americans celebrate the history of white immigrants committing genocidal terrorism against Native Americans, the Kaep haters tuned back into football.

  26. painsyndicate says:
    Nov 25, 2016 3:38 PM
    buttfumbles says:
    Nov 25, 2016 12:53 PM

    Lol @ people who thought the rating were down because Kaepernick took a knee.
    —————–
    Real Americans won. You lost. Get over it already Sheila.

    ————————————————————

    No the worst of America won. Look at your post, apparently if you’re not ignorant, sexist or anti-Kap you’re not a “real American”.

  27. I predicted the Sam Bradford pick. LMAO. What an offense Pat Shurmer has. Throwing 2 yard passes and Bradford’s completion rate still was only 71.8%.

    And they fired, errr, Norv re-signed, for Pat Shurmer.

    The Vikings are Browns North North.

    Hey Bradford, Treadwell was wide open 6x. U might want to throw your 1st round draft pick the ball. U didnt even look at him.

  28. You’re a right wing troll if you think the protests had any effect on ratings. If anything the protests have increased, but as above shows, good games equal good ratings.

  29. either that or everyone was drunk or in a food coma and turned the game off and passed out for the late game lol

  30. I am white, not fat and have no diabetes. I seldom drink coke and have never had a papa johns pizza. Your hero certainly offended many patriotic Americans, including me. His total lack of knowledge about the definition of “patriotic” is beyond bewildering.

  31. They opted out of the completely unnecessary 3rd game. Dallas/Detroit vs. Opponents that is the Thanksgiving tradition not two other random teams playing just because the NFL wants to sell more ad time.

  32. buttfumbles says:

    Lol @ people who thought the rating were down because Kaepernick took a knee.
    =====================================

    The ratings for 49er games are way down. Their game against Arizona was the lowest rated prime time game in eight years. I refuse to watch that team play as long as that racist is on the team.

  33. abninf says:

    The ratings for 49er games are way down. Their game against Arizona was the lowest rated prime time game in eight years. I refuse to watch that team play as long as that racist is on the team.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, and I refuse to watch any team that aids and assists injured players on the field, because Florence Nightingale’s achievements were exaggerated by the media to make her out as a hero. So there, NFL! Take that!

  34. Liberals, seriously, it is your turn to shut up for at least the next 4 years. If it is 8, just go away.

  35. Red sheep and Blue sheep will argue about anything.

    How about this? Some people surely felt strongly enough to tune out. How many, we’ll never know because many people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. There may or may not have been enough to affect TV ratings and they may or may not have tuned back in.

  36. painsyndicate says:
    Nov 25, 2016 9:13 PM

    Liberals, seriously, it is your turn to shut up for at least the next 4 years. If it is 8, just go away.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Yawn……….change the broken record……

  37. abninf says:
    Nov 25, 2016 1:58 PM

    Imagine the ratings of a Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl. I don’t think the Patriots will make it, though.

    My worst nightmare….but I would have to be a Cowboys fan in that one!!

  38. I can totally see why families celebrating Thanksgiving would turn off the Steelers. Who wants to explain to their children why Roethlisberger is still allowed to play in the NFL?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!