Broncos-Cardinals sets a new low for broadcast ratings

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Now it’s a game, indeed.

Thursday night’s Broncos-Cardinals game, simulcast by FOX and NFL Network, set a new low for games televised on broadcast TV.

According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Journal, the combined rating of 6.6 was “well below” the prior all-time low generated by a Seahawks-Buccaneers game on Sunday Night Football in 2008, which competed directly with Game Seven of the Tampa Bay Rays-Boston Red Sox ALCS.

Apart from the fact that Broncos-Cardinals was a lackluster matchup that quickly became a blowout, the game had plenty of competition, including Game Five of the Astros-Red Sox ALCS and an NBA doubleheader on TNT that included the debut of LeBron James with the Lakers in a game that tipped during the fourth quarter of Broncos-Cardinals.

To no surprise, the overnight number represents a 33-percent decline in comparison to last year’s Chiefs-Raiders Week Seven Thursday night game, broadcast by CBS and NFL Network.

The performance becomes further proof of the reality that more people will watch good football, and fewer people will watch bad football. Imagine that.

76 responses to “Broncos-Cardinals sets a new low for broadcast ratings

  1. I bet you can actually see the ratings spike where out of morbid curiosity I turned it on just in time to watch Allen throw a pick 6, and then immediately turned it off in disgust. I don’t know why the NFL is so keen on its Play60 program when most of its teams can’t even do it.

  2. I like Thursday night football, but something has got to give. These match-ups are absolutely terrible. Up next is the Dolphins vs. Texans, which might be just as boring. On the bright side, the Eagles vs. Jaguars, Panthers vs. Steelers, Packers vs. Seahawks, and Saints vs. Cowboys are next. These games should all be good.

  3. What surprises me in all this is that McCoy was the only coach fired today. Vance Joseph should have gotten the can as well even though they won. Elway is just dragging out the inevitable with this guy. Should have been given the hook last year. Oh well, always fun to see a guy dangling by a thread when it isn’t me.

  4. Hey NFL: officially time to end the Thursday night football experiment. Bad for the players’ health, bad ratings, just give it up already.

  5. I am a Broncos fan. If the Broncos are doing well or look like they have a shot, I watch. If the Broncos stink, then I dont watch any NFL and find a much nicer way to spend my time. I imagine there is a good chunk of fans who are the same way with their teams. It could be a KC-NE shoot out equivalent every game and I wouldnt enjoy it near as much as watching the Broncos wallop on the only team worse than us.

  6. Thursday Night Football as a weekly thing from the beginning of the season is almost always mediocre at best.
    Much better to go back to the original concept and just have it over the last few weeks of the season.
    And, PLEASE – allow for Flex Scheduling.

  7. Please take note anyone that thinks the Broncos have a seat at the table for debating who is America’s Team. The Broncos aren’t anywhere close to being America’s Team in any way, shape, or form. The lowest historical ratings prove it.

    If it were Dallas vs. Az (or Dallas vs. anyone else for that matter), it would be the highest rated game all week.

  8. You all do realize that this was by design, right? What better time to take the L in the TV ratings than a night when the NFL was going to have serious competition from the three other major sports. Although these Thursday night games are set well in advance, it was not a stretch to think that both the Cardinals and the Broncos would be middling to poor teams at this point in the season. In that light, knowing the fact that each team has to play on a Thursday night, it was a brilliant move by the NFL. You weren’t gonna get Packers vs Patriots last night, not against postseason baseball and NBA season openers.

  9. I think most of us started with Denver vs AZ, but by the end of the first qtr the TV Clicker became our best friend for the rest of the night.
    You left out Stanford – Arizona on ESPN… which was a far better game and had 2 more West Coast Teams (like Denver-AZ) to divide the TV ratings time with.
    Baseball is soooo slow…. you only need to check-in every hour or so and they had a few pitches.
    The NBA actually had the most watchable games — Chi-Philly was OK, but waiting for the LaBron show had most of the attention by the 2nd 1/2 of the night. What a letdown all the way around, to be honest.
    Charles Barkley couldn’t save it, either.

  10. I’m surprised it wasn’t lower than that! Flex scheduling you dummies! I’m sure FOX is happy! NOT!

  11. How about two games on Monday Night each week to replace Thursday night football?

  12. Let’s not forget JOE BUCK was the announcer along with all the other events that were going on !!!

  13. Thankfully it got McCoy fired and showed everyone what a mess Wilks has made of the Cardinals. The entire new regime and GM need to go.

  14. I wonder how happy Joe Buck and Troy Aikman – FOX’s top NFL broadcast team – were in having to work this yuck of a game after they were promised “high end” Thursday games.

  15. What killed baseball on TV? OVEREXPOSURE. I’ve reached the point to where the only FULL games I watch are the ones involving my team. I might see a play or two, but I haven’t watched a series of one of the Thursday night games not involving my team in years.
    @wheywheyprotein….then you are not a REAL fan.

  16. the NFL should revert back to having Thursday night football games just a few times a year:

    Season opener, Thanksgiving, and maybe the week before and week after Thanksgiving. Make good teams play on Thursday (both with a bye the week before), make lousy teams go to London, Mexico….and wherever else Kensil is hanging out these days.

    If a network wouldn’t make a matchup their premier Sunday football telecast, then that matchup shouldn’t be on Thursday night either.

  17. Broncos-Cardinals sets a new low for broadcast ratings

    OK lets look at the two teams and their records last season, what did the NFL think was going to happen? MY GOD if it’s rating you want you don’t put two of last years stinkers on a Thursday, Sunday or Monday night game, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these things out!

  18. What a horrible match up for Thursday night, These are the games you send over to London.

  19. footballseasonrules says:
    October 19, 2018 at 4:19 pm
    How about two games on Monday Night each week to replace Thursday night football?

    I LIKE IT! Maybe an early 7:00 eastern/central time zone game and a 10:00 mountain/west coast game.

  20. Excuses, excuses. The column is filled with them. Maybe it’s because of the kneelers.

  21. I remember when I used to tune in to any game, between any teams, any day. Now I barely want to watch my own team play even when it’s convenient.

    The product is worse, period.

  22. A horrible game but I watched because my team was playing in it. That being said, I think TNF is a huge over sactuturation to the the NFL and shows no sincere concern for player safety.

  23. I was a fan of the idea of Thursday night football, more football how could that be a bad thing, right? Then the NFL basically killed Monday night football to try to get their best matchups on Thur/Sun night. Now most Thursdays unless it’s a must watch game I find I’m just not in the mood to watch NFL football. I would rather see them do double headers on Sun or Mon night, plus then it is closer to the normal recovery time for the athletes.

  24. It probably didn’t help that the hometown team (Cardinals) had competition because ASU was at home (Tempe) playing Stanford on ESPN at the same time. Also that game was 6-6 into the third quarter.

    I’m sure a lot of people switched the channel and never came back, bolstered by seeing the score careen further and further out of control.

  25. The only way Thursday night games will work well is to have division rivals play each other after a bye week. Start in week 5 and run them 8 weeks, until week 13. Each division will have a Thursday night game. The fact that there are only 8 Thursday games will make them more “must watch” tv. Of course, this will mean only 1 NFL game on Thanksgiving, but that’s enough. Dallas and Detroit, the 2 teams who traditionally host Thanksgiving games, can alternate each year.

  26. If they really cared about the health of the players they would eliminate Thursday night games & do prime time double headers on Sunday night…..
    The ONLY EXCEPTION being games on Turkey day!!!!

  27. According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Journal, the combined rating of 6.6 was “well below” the prior all-time low generated by a Seahawks-Buccaneers game on Sunday Night Football in 2008, which competed directly with Game Seven of the Tampa Bay Rays-Boston Red Sox ALCS.

    I was at that Bucs game. They won, then they put the Rays-Sox on the Jumbotron, where we got to watch the Rays win too. It was a great night.

    Trivia: The Hawks-Bucs game was the one John Madden just “skipped”, so Cris Collinsworth worked the booth with Al Michaels for the first time. The rumor was he was tired of all the travel, and taking the Madden Bus all the way to Tampa was too much. He retired after that season.

  28. I love being able to watch football on Sundays, mondays and Thursdays. I guess im in the minority here but i dont feel bad for them to have to play 1 thrs night game per year. Many of those guys will make more money in one year than ill probably make in my entire life. I see the NFL strictly as entertainment. I don’t have feelings for the players or care one bit if they like to play on thursdays. They know what they’re signing up for. . . . .and again its only one thrs game per year. I don’t like to work Saturdays but a couple times a year I still have to.

  29. When I put the game on I thought to myself that we were going to get one of those “lowest ratings in 9 years” headlines and here it is. It was as sure a thing as Chris Simms buttoning his top button.

  30. Cards are a mess…

    But, as a Rams fan, I feel their pain.

    Been through this plenty of years. Hang in there Cards fans!

  31. Both the Broncos and Cardinals are localized teams. What I mean is that they have never had a national following. So the perfect storm was set.

  32. I tuned in midway through the first quarter and it was already 21-3, so I bailed in short order, and I imagine the Nielsen viewers did the same.

  33. Eric Torleson: you scurry on over and watch that boring game called basketball where if it weren’t for no doze products that sport would be dead and buried.

  34. weepingjebus says:
    October 19, 2018 at 3:53 pm
    I bet you can actually see the ratings spike where out of morbid curiosity I turned it on just in time to watch Allen throw a pick 6, and then immediately turned it off in disgust. I don’t know why the NFL is so keen on its Play60 program when most of its teams can’t even do it.

    62

    16
    ————————————————————-
    The fact that 62 people agreed that Josh Allen was playing in a Denver/Arizona game is proof that the casual fan is corrupting football.

  35. I was watching the Arizona St Vs Stanford game. Man, David Shaw is a great coach. It doesn’t look pretty, but that man knows how to win games.

  36. Oh, was there a broadcast NFL game, this past Thursday evening?

    I vaguely remember looking at the schedule and noticing a couple of stinker teams slated to face off, and I found something else to occupy my time – doing, instead of watching.

    NFL Thursday night football; barely giving The Simpson’s a run for their money.

  37. And if that’s not bad enough, the NFL Channel actually replayed that game this afternoon!!! I could not believe it!!
    I am glad when I see NFL ratings drop. I hope they keep on dropping. And after the next work stoppage — which is inevitable — I hope they never recover!
    It would serve all the owners and players right!! Let them go play all their games in Europe for all I care!!!!!
    Remember — none of them could give a rat’s behind for the fans. All they care about is the fans keep forking over their hard earned money to them!

  38. But wait, I thought the liberals were winning because ratings were up.

    No Kaep.
    No Rihanna.
    No ratings.

    MAGA

  39. I watch Sunday football, my home team on the local channel and all teams’ touchdowns on NFL RedZone. So I bet and win some, lose some. Sunday night and Monday night are my nights to get even or bang the bookie harder. Thursday night football is good for me: it’s the beginning which shows how my weekend winds up. Last night’s game was a clunker, but I kept watching because I had Denver -1; a parlay of Denver and the over; and I also teased the same. Regardless, no matter how bad football is, it’s still better than anything else. It’s still football.

  40. iamthegreatcornflorio says:
    October 19, 2018 at 8:06 pm
    But wait, I thought the liberals were winning because ratings were up.

    No Kaep.
    No Rihanna.
    No ratings.

    MAGA
    —————

    Ummm……..yeah. Ratings are up. This was a terrible game between 2 teams no one cares about.

    The Snowflake boycott by the Trumptards ended last season and failed miserably. Just take the L and move on.

  41. illgivemyopinion
    Oct 19, 2018, 6:54 PM EDT
    Both the Broncos and Cardinals are localized teams. What I mean is that they have never had a national following. So the perfect storm was set.
    _________________________________________the Denver Broncos are number 5 in fan attendance nationally. Meaning more people watch the Broncos than 27 other markets. You are incorrect.

  42. Nothing will change, until the real consumer (the advertisers) start asking the networks for a rebate due to low ratings.

    A 6.6 rating is low for a Nationally televised sporting event. A 6.6 just doesn’t sell enough product to warrant the cost of buying network time.

    Once the advertisers put the squeeze on the networks things will change.

  43. And yet I just heard that it still barely topped by the combined ratings of the Brewers-Dodgers game and LeBron’s first home game as a Laker. NFL is still king.

  44. It’s one thing to flex a game to Sunday afternoon or evening. It’s another to flex it to the Thursday before where out of towners or fans of visiting teams may have already reserved their flights and hotel for the weekend matchup. So flexing is not the answer to the question of poor Thursday night ratings.

  45. It’s just like when they say Los Angeles isn’t a football town. Well, I’ll bet they are now. Nobody wants to watch bad football, but everyone likes good football.

  46. I really feel sorry for Larry Fitzgerald 🙁 He’s such an awesome guy, both on and off the field!!!!

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