TV Ratings: NFL Gives Fox and Everyone Else an Early Boost

Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins reseason game - Getty-H 2019
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Cody Davis #22 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to tackle Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the preseason game at Hard Rock Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Miami, Florida. 

Fox aired an NFL preseason game in primetime Thursday, a few weeks ahead of its Thursday Night Football kickoff. Other games pre-empted regular programming in their home markets, so the numbers below are quite likely to change.

Fox's ratings will likely rise some in the finals, which will be released in the afternoon. The other networks will probably adjust downward somewhat thanks to pre-emptions. (This post will be updated when final ratings become available.)

With all that in mind: Fox's broadcast of the Miami Dolphins-Jacksonville Jaguars game averaged a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.46 million viewers in the fast national ratings. The demo rating will likely land Fox in first place in the finals, but the total audience is on the low side for primetime preseason games so far this summer. (Fox's Sunday primetime game, for instance, drew 4.36 million viewers in the fast nationals before adjusting up to 5.3 million.) 

CBS' Big Brother currently leads primetime in both adults 18-49 (1.3) and adults 18-49 (5.13 million viewers). Both numbers would tie or set season highs if they hold in the finals.

The final two episodes of Holey Moley's season on ABC drew 0.7 and 0.6 ratings among adults 18-49. Reef Break is currently at 0.4; both shows are likely to come down some. Similarly, The CW's The Outpost (0.3) and Two Sentence Horror Stories (0.2) are likely somewhat inflated, as is NBC's rerun lineup.

Fox, CBS and NBC currently share the 18-49 lead with 0.9 averages in primetime, pending updates. ABC is at 0.6, Univision and Telemundo at 0.4 each and The CW at 0.2.  

As expected, the final ratings brought some downard adjustments to the other networks. Fox, however, didn't budge from its initial numbers. Final 18-49 ratings (original programs only) and network averages are below.

ABC: Holey Moley, 0.6 (8 p.m.) and 0.5 (9 p.m.); Reef Break, 0.3
CBS: Big Brother, 1.2
Fox: NFL preseason football, 0.9
The CW: The Outpost, 0.1; Two Sentence Horror Stories, 0.1

Network averages: Fox, 0.9; CBS, 0.7; ABC, 0.5; NBC, 0.5; The CW, 0.1.

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Aug. 23, 2:05 p.m. Updated with final ratings figures.