Report: Overnight ratings for opener up “14-15 percent” from last year

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The first game of the NFL season is in the books and the league is likely happy about how many people tuned in for the start of its 100th season.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that the overnight rating for Thursday night’s game was around a 15.3, which is up 14-15 percent from last season. The Eagles beat the Falcons 18-12 to open the 2018 season.

Ourand also notes that the rating spike was even higher in a couple of markets where sports betting has been legalized and people are able to bet on mobile devices during games. Pittsburgh saw a 23 percent rise and Providence was up 36 percent.

Those two markets will have particular interest in Sunday night’s game between the Steelers and Patriots, so the league may be getting more good ratings news throughout the opening weekend.

52 responses to “Report: Overnight ratings for opener up “14-15 percent” from last year

  1. I’m not sure how. The game was terrible. Sure a few nice defensive stops but the REFS were the real stars of the game. The NFL has created so many rules you can’t go three plays without some penalty. I feel like the NFL has become a REF reality show… More of the same from last year. Ratings will slip again! The NO FUN LEAGUE.

  2. Great game – love the defensive chess match. Matched the super bowl of last year. Nothing wrong with not putting up 40 points.

  3. I think that it was a good game. Essentially a dog fight with two teams not showing their true potential yet. Usually opening games are like that because teams come rusty out of a long pre-season. I am just glad that football is back.

  4. Game wasn’t a snooze fest. The defenses looked good (how much was due to awful offense, I can’t tell yet). A snooze fest would be each team automatically scoring on every drive or one team being up 20 points for 50 of 60 minutes of the game. Was within a score the entire game – since when is that a snooze fest.

  5. It was a defensive spectacle. Both offenses will catch up to themselves, but those D’s were both playing like they were the only players on the field. Five sacks each? That’s a lot. Bakhtiari with two holding calls? He had his work cut out for him against a stout Bears defense.

  6. Not a knock on the Eagles or Falcons (I think this was even the season following the Eagles SB), but matchup has to play in. Bears and Packers are classic divisional rivals and both should be competitive and interesting to watch this season. That’s a good matchup to start with.

  7. Yes, some good defense. But much of that was merely a reflection of the HORRIBLE offenses (particularly on the Chicago side). Not particularly entertaining to watch. As a chiefs fan, I’m just thankful that Chicago drafted Trubisky as the 2nd overall pick. He is far from decent.

  8. Wow, with a terrible game and announcers that were back from the stone age. Don’t believe the increase in viewership one bit.

  9. While I like a good defensive battle, I have to agree with those saying it wasn’t so much great defense as it was horrible offensive play (especially on the Bears side of things). There at the end, Wilt the Stilt, couldn’t have caught some of those passes Trubisky was slinging.

  10. I remember last year my heart would sink every time the GB defense would step on the field. By the second quarter last night, that feeling had been replaced with something akin to joy. It’s been nearly a decade since we had a great defense and we all remember what happened then.

  11. I didn’t see two great defenses so much as two really bad offenses. Trubisky overthrew receivers at least 6-8 times. Then threw the ball ip for grabs into triple coverage for the loss. Quick; name me the Bears starting RB and two WR’s. 1 WR? Rodgers? Just the look on his face showed how bad that offense played. And both offenses had so many times where they could barely get a play off. And the officials were forced to throw many flags, as both teams looked like they were in the fourth quarter of a preseason game with scrubs out there. Just an ugly game all around.

  12. conormacleod says:
    September 6, 2019 at 10:09 am
    And most of us fell asleep with our TVs on.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Not likely, not Viking fans. Every one of them watched until the bitter end, hoping, wishing, and praying the Bears pulled it off near the end. You know it’s true.

  13. The people that tuned in were far less happy about their decision however. I thought they wanted to reduce the pre season? Looks to me like they extended it a week

  14. Everyone complaining about this game is what’s wrong with sports fans. A great defensive game can be fun. It doesn’t always have to be huge scores to be entertaining. Real football is defenses smacking the taste out of the offense’s mouths

  15. Hard to see how that wasn’t a fine game for anyone who likes to watch football. It was close. There were new rules to evaluate. The defenses were INTENSE! And the offenses had a bunch of Week 1 drama. It was awesome!

  16. Vikings fan idiots are talking a lot of smack before their team even plays.

    I’d hate to see that come back and bite them.

    Bottom line:

    Packers got a road win, in the division, against a playoff team from last year.

  17. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that the overnight rating for Thursday night’s game was around a 15.3,
    —————————————————————————–
    You have to go back to game 7 Warriors/Cavs in 2016 for the last time an NBA finals game got over a 15.3 rating, and you have to go back to when Jordan was still playing for the last time a non-game 7 NBA finals game got a better rating than that. But yeah, “Mark Cuban is right”

  18. HagemeisterPark says:
    September 6, 2019 at 9:37 am
    Great game – love the defensive chess match. Matched the super bowl of last year. Nothing wrong with not putting up 40 points.
    ———————————————–

    I agree with you about loving a great defensive game, but I think last night’s game was just crappy offense. Trubisky looks AWFUL. The flags. . . the commercials. . . . I feel that I was generous for waiting ’til halftime to shut it off.

    Imagine if there were only 2 preseason games; those teams weren’t CLOSE to being ready to play.

  19. And the ratings for this weekend’s games will probably tank because the people who watched that unbelievable level of incompetence from both sides will not be back for more.

  20. stellarperformance says:
    September 6, 2019 at 10:24 am

    conormacleod says:
    September 6, 2019 at 10:09 am
    And most of us fell asleep with our TVs on.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Not likely, not Viking fans. Every one of them watched until the bitter end, hoping, wishing, and praying the Bears pulled it off near the end. You know it’s true.
    ___________

    I’ll admit some people hate the Packers so much they would rather see them lose than see them beat the clearly better team within the division. I was torn. I love seeing the Packers lose, but it’s better for the Vikings for the Bears to lose because the Packers are irrelevant in the division. I was pulling for the Bears at the end because I thought the best result would be a tie. In fact, before the game I jokingly said I hoped for a scoreless tie. I had no idea how close that would come to happening.

  21. I watched the first 5 minutes. Looked like both teams could use some sort of preseason games to get ready for the season.

  22. The only reasons the ratings anywere near as high as they were is because 1) people really expected a lot better game, 2) it was the first game of the season and 3) everyone in Il, Wi that wasn’t at the game was watching and they had a lot of outside interest from Mn and Mi by way of being division rivals.

  23. I see a lot of thumbs down, obviously from angry fans of two sorry looking offenses!

    NAH those guys don’t need ANY pre-season work, they’re that good!

    NO THEY’RE NOT!!!

  24. I question that result but even so the game was terrible. That is what the NFL gets for starting a season with this game. Always boring, kinda like the packers Lions games.

  25. 1) people really expected a lot better game, did they Steve? Have you seen a good packers Bears game in the last 30 years? Me neither, it might be close but it isn’t good. Just like last night.

  26. @ fmc651

    By “people really expected a better game” I was referring to the fact the NFL could have put the defending SB Champions on just like they’ve done for over a decade or just about any other game, but NO they have to pick a game they should have known would be a stinkfest as you, I and many other football fans already knew!

    BRILLIANT on the NFL’s part huh? The only game that I think could have been a worse choice in week 1 would have been the Lions/Cards and I’m not so sure about that now!

  27. stellarperformance says:
    September 6, 2019 at 10:24 am
    conormacleod says:
    September 6, 2019 at 10:09 am
    And most of us fell asleep with our TVs on.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Not likely, not Viking fans. Every one of them watched until the bitter end, hoping, wishing, and praying the Bears pulled it off near the end. You know it’s true.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    I can’t speak for all Viking fans but I for one cheered on the pack. The Bears are going to battle the Vikings for division. The packers and that high powered offense will be 7-9.

  28. The Vikings will more than likely go 1-5 in the division this year. I’m going to watch the Lions game to see if they’ve improved.

    If they have, the Vikings won’t win one division game.

  29. stella/tokyo – the packers only victory in the division last year was against the Bears. IN the first game of the season. So you are right on pace for another 1-5 division record.

  30. I agree with the group that feel the game was more of a case of inept offenses than good defense. Where were all the hard hits that go along with suffocating defenses?
    Face it the game was a dud.

  31. Cheesey fmc rob…whatever your name is this post, yes…the pundits are all saying that the Packers defense was flying around, using confusing fronts to get consistent pressure, and getting 19 pressures, 5 sacks and an interception (against a much better line than the Vikings have ((uh oh))). But you have to be right because you’re a Vikings fan and so there.

    Right?

  32. September 6, 2019 at 5:56 pm
    stella/tokyo – the packers only victory in the division last year was against the Bears. IN the first game of the season. So you are right on pace for another 1-5 division record.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Was that the game in which Rodgers broke a bone in his leg requiring him to wear a restrictive knee brace for eight games, followed by a strained hamstring for another two, and ending with a missed game in concussion protocol , and STILL outperformed Cousins?

    Yeah, that was then, this is now. Everybody is healthy. The equalizing injury bug seems to be visiting the Vikings at the moment. Anybody who thinks the Packers are irrelevant in the division is wishing, hoping, and praying it’s true.

    Good luck with that.

  33. What the hell did you guys think was going to happen in a game where neither QB threw a pass in preseason? Expect plenty of that to occur on Sunday in the other games. Every team is now re-learning playing at a real pace against a real NFL team again. Give it a break and let the teams gel.

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