Last night’s “Andy Reid Bowl” stands as the most-watched Thursday Night Football telecast in NFL Network history.
The Sept. 19 telecast – Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs topped his former club, the Philadelphia Eagles, 26-16 at Lincoln Financial Field – averaged a 6.0 U.S. rating, 9.4 coverage rating and 9.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. KC-Philly beat the Dallas Cowboys-New Orleans Saints telecast on Dec. 19, 2009 that scored a 5.7 in a much smaller subscriber universe to become the highest-rated game for the channel. The totals exclude viewership from over-the-air channels in the participating clubs’ markets.
Overall, the Chiefs-Eagles telecast was Thursday’s most-watched program among all shows on broadcast and cable television.
KC-Philly ranks fourth overall among audiences for the pro football league’s in-house network behind the 10.7 million for the “Harbaugh Brothers Bowl,” San Francisco-Baltimore in 2011; 10.5 million for the aforementioned Saints-‘Boys game in 2009; and 10.1 million for Green Bay-Dallas in 2007.
The Chiefs-Eagles telecast surpassed the 5.5 rating and 8.8 million for Thursday Night Football’s 2013 opener on Sept. 12 and was 34% above the average viewership and 30% in rating over the third TNF game in 2012 -- New York Giants-Carolina Panthers tackled a 4.6 rating and 7 million viewers.
Thus far, TNF is averaging a 5.7 rating and 9.1 million viewers – respective gains of 43% and 42% from the first two contests of last year’s slate. NFL Network, which presents 13 primetime games, is on pace to score its highest-rated and most-watched Thursday Night Football season ever.
TNF continues on Sept. 26 as the defending NFC champion 49ers travel to St. Louis to face the Rams in an NFC West showdown, as well as the first full Thursday night of the broadcast season.