Though the NFL opened on Thursday night after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the television ratings were not exactly a triumph. In fact, Thursday night’s ratings marked a significant low.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Thursday night football was considerably lower than last year’s game opener.
Per NBC, streaming of Thursday’s game on NBC and NFL digital platforms and Verizon mobile properties averaged 970,000 viewers — the highest ever for an NFL game (excluding Super Bowls) on NBC. It was up 55 percent from the 627,000 average viewers for last year’s season opener and accounted for a little under 5 percent of the game’s total audience (excluding out of home viewing).
The only other comparable show on cable Thursday was “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, which drew 4.4 million viewers.
Though it is inconclusive if the national anthem protests contributed to Thursday’s results, NFL ratings have slowly been in decline since 2018 when the