8:44am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Thursday Night Football' Drops With Snoozer Game
The second outing of CBS' Thursday Night Football was bound to be smaller than last week — especially when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the fourth quarter without having put any points on the board. Though the team did manage two scoring drives to avoid a shutout against the Atlanta Falcons, 14-56, many viewers had clearly turned the dial.
Preliminary ratings are down 40 percent from last week, with CBS and the NFL Net averaging a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 in fast national returns. Last week's game, which averaged an early 5.5 rating, went up to a 7.5 in the key demo once time zone adjustments were made.
Interest in the matchup was clearly already low, as pre-game coverage was also down 34 percent from comparable preliminary numbers last week. That coverage did take on the ongoing public debate over domestic abuse among NFL players and the league's handling of it.
Final ratings, including total viewership, will be available later on Friday.
The Biggest Loser, though the biggest non-football offering on the Big Four last night, was still off three-tenths of a point from last week's premiere low. The series averaged a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49 on NBC before an encore of Wednesday's Mysteries of Laura premiere fetched a 0.8 rating in the demo.