TV Ratings: NFL Preseason Gets a Promising Start

The game ranked as the best weeknight preseason showing in five years.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Some promising news on the football front: Thursday night's preseason kickoff hit a five-year high.

The Cardinals-Cowboys matchup, dubbed the NFL Hall of Fame Game, propelled NBC to No. 1 status across the board and ranked as the highest-rated weeknight preseason game in five years. It averaged a 5.4 overnight rating among households, topping the rest of the dial in every half-hour of primetime.

The game's showing in the key demo will jump with final numbers, but early returns (read: non-timezone-adjusted fast affiliates) have it taking a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 for the night.

It will be more than a month before ratings give any true insight into whether or not the coming NFL year is going to perform better than the humbled 2016 season, but it's as good of a way as any to start.

Big Brother didn't lose any steam with the increased competition. The show took another 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 before a flat episode of Zoo (0.5 adults) on CBS.

The entire ABC block of Boy Band (0.5 adults), Battle of the Network Stars (0.6 adults) and The Gong Show (0.6 adults) was even with last week. On Fox, Beat Shazam held steady with a 0.8 rating before a new Love Connection (0.6 adults).

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