Capping a banner day for NFL Network, Nielsen numbers show its Thursday Night Football coverage of the New York Giants-Carolina Panthers scored the service’s fifth-highest-rated game to date.
NFL Network’s Sept. 20 telecast of the Giants’ 36-7 dismantling of Cam Newton’s Panthers averaged a 4.6 U.S. household rating and 7 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. Those numbers exclude the audience for those watching the contest on over-the-air stations in the participating clubs’ DMAs.
The TNF presentation by NFL Network -- on Friday, the pro football league finally completed its distribution roster with the nation’s leading providers as it inked a multiyear deal with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks -- ranked as cable’s top show on Thursday.
Following last week’s game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, which ranks as the most-watched of the channel’s seven season openers with 8.6 million viewers, NFL Network is averaging a 5.0 national rating and 7.8 million viewers -- on pace to make 2012 its highest-rated and most-watched season ever.
NFL Network, which has expanded its slate to 13 from eight primetime telecasts, will feature the Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 27.