Tebow Time: Broncos-Jets Attracts 7.1 Million Viewers To NFL Network


A lackluster affair with an exciting finish -- if you're a Denver Broncos and/or Tim Tebow fan-- played big for NFL Network Thursday night.
The Nov. 17 telecast -- Denver rallied past the New York Jets 17-13 in the last minute -- averaged 7.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. That delivery was up 31% from NFL Network's week 11 telecast during the 2010 campaign, when 5.4 million watched Chicago and Miami. Last night's tally excludes those who viewed Broncos-Jets on over-the-air stations in New York and Denver.
Coupled with its strongest of its six primetime season slate openers to date -- 5.3 million for Oakland-San Diego on Nov. 10 -- NFL Network averaged 6.1 million viewers for its first two games, 17% better than at the corresponding stage a year ago.
Jets-Broncos ranks at the fifth most-watched game in the six years of Thursday Night Football on NFL Network and was the top show on cable. Other sports competition included North Carolina-Virginia Tech college football on ESPN, which drew 1.8 million viewers.
Nearly 500,000 fans logged on to the complementary online coverage of Jets-Broncos via NFL.com/LIVE Thursday Night Football presented by GMC, which features "live look-ins," highlights, statistics and instant analysis from a team of experts on-site and in NFL Network's Los Angeles studios.
Next up: the Thanksgiving night battle of the Harbaugh brothers. For the first time in NFL history teams will be helmed by siblings, with Jim leading the 8-1 San Francisco 49ers against Jim's 6-3 Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. (ET).