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Ravens MNF Victory: Most-Viewed Season-Opening ESPN Game Ever


Packers-Eagles on FOX Most-Watched Sunday Week 1 Game Ever
Viewership Up for All Network Partners
NFL.COM Posts Best Opening Weekend Ever

Beginning with the Thursday night NFL season opener, viewers across the country got back to football and tuned their televisions to NFL games in record numbers last week. NFL Kickoff 2010 was the most-watched opening weekend since 1987 with an average of 19.5 million viewers for games on Sept. 9-13. In addition, all four NFL broadcast partners had increases in Kickoff Weekend viewership.

Below are some records and highlights from Kickoff Weekend, including the record-setting Baltimore Ravens victory over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football:


· The FOX national game (mostly Packers-Eagles) was the most-watched Week 1 Sunday game on record with 28 million viewers, surpassing the previous high set last year (25.1 million viewers for Washington at NY Giants on FOX) (Nielsen average viewer records date back to 1987). FOX also had its most-watched Kickoff Weekend doubleheader ever.

· Three games – the FOX national game and the two NBC primetime games - were watched by more than 25 million viewers, the most games to draw that many viewers in one weekend in 19 years (since Thanksgiving weekend 1991).

· NBC’s two games averaged 26.3 million viewers, marking the highest Thursday-Sunday primetime average for NBC since the current Kickoff Weekend schedule was implemented in 2002. The games are also the two most-watched NBC regular-season primetime NFL broadcasts.

· The Kickoff Weekend Monday Night Football games combined for ESPN’s most-viewed opening night (average of 13.6 million viewers) since the doubleheader format began in 2006. ESPN’s opening MNF game (Ravens-Jets, 15.0 million viewers) was the most-viewed season-opening ESPN MNF game ever.

· The CBS single game (mostly Cincinnati-New England and Indianapolis-Houston) drew 16.2 million viewers and was the network’s most-watched opening weekend 1:00 PM ET game since 1992.


· Kickoff Weekend is the most-watched opening weekend among Hispanics and included the two most-watched season-opening games among Hispanic viewers with NBC’s Sunday Night Football at the top followed by the FOX national game.

· This week’s games also accounted for the three most-watched Kickoff Weekend games among women. NBC’s Thursday Kickoff game ranked first and followed by the FOX national game and NBC Sunday Night Football.

· Among Kids (aged 6-14), the FOX national game was most-viewed season-opening game in 11 years.


· NFL games ranked first in all 30 NFL markets and in 48 of Nielsen’s 56 metered markets (85.7%) -- up from 83.9% of all markets in 2009 and 73.2% in 2008 and 2007.

· Six teams delivered record-setting ratings for season-openers in their home markets led by the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints (60.0 rating) followed by Minnesota, 43.8; Baltimore, 40.1; San Diego, 36.6; Arizona, 25.3; and Seattle, 23.3.

· In addition, 14 clubs posted local ratings increases of more than 20 percent for Week 1 compared to last year.


· had its best opening weekend ever with 22 percent more people visiting the site than last year.

· On Sunday, fans watched 58 percent more video compared to Sunday of Week 1 in 2009.