It’s fall, which means it’s also football season. Just as everyone’s favorite series are ready to return from their summer-vacations, viewers are forced to choose between scheduled programing and wonderful football. For some the choice is simple, others thank the stars for Hulu.
This week was the first Thursday Night Football game of the 2016 regular season, and CBS had the New York Jets battling it out against the Buffalo Bills. The game was seen on an average minute audience basis by 15.7 million viewers across all platforms, this according to CBS, and those numbers include CBS Television Network, NFL Network, Twitter, NFL Digital and CBS Interactive. The amount of viewers that at least quickly checked the game at some point, was much higher – but we’ll get to those numbers in a bit.
Last night’s game was seen by an average of 15.4 million television viewers on CBS and NFL Network, and earned an average national household rating/share of 9.5/18, this according to Nielsen live plus same day national ratings. This bumps the television rating +20% from the average household rating (7.9 HH) for the 16 games of the 2015 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL schedule on CBS and NFL Network (and over-the-air stations) a dramatic increase in viewership for YOY comparison. Television viewership of the Jets-Bills game peaked at 16.4 million viewers from 9:00-9:30 PM, just as the Bills were staging their doomed comeback.
The 2015 THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL premiere on CBS and NFL Network, which featured Denver and Kansas City, earned a 12.9/24, which is still the highest-rated THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL game ever. Obviously those two western teams have a better chance to pull-in greater numbers than the Jets and Bills, but the two New York teams came very close to topping the record.
In total, CBS and NFL Network’s coverage of Jets-Bills was watched in all-or-part by 48.1 million viewers on television, with a minimum of one minute viewed.
The average digital audience for THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL’s season opener across Twitter, NFL Mobile from Verizon, Watch NFL Network, NFL Game Pass (International) and authenticated users on CBS Digital platforms users was 314,000 with each viewer spending an average of 25 minutes watching the Jets defeat the Bills. In total, all digital properties showing THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL reached 2.4 million viewers.
That means in total, Twitter reached 2.3 million combined worldwide viewers for the NFL THURSDAY NIGHT KICKOFF pregame show and the Jets/Bills game for a minimum of three seconds with that video being 100% in view. That might sound like a strange statistic to some readers, but these are for potential advertisement buyers, and they are quite good. Getting 2.3M people’s attention for at least three-seconds is a great motivator for apps, movies, sponsors and manufacturers to think about a quick ad on Twitter during the game.
Twitter reached 2.1 million viewers during the game, which was the first one live-streamed on the platform. That being said, it’s off to a terrific start. If the tech holds out, and advertisers flock to the new platform, we could potentially see a lot more professional games, series and specials on Twitter in the very near future.