Eight was more than enough.
NFL Network registered record ratings and viewership marks during its eighth season of primetime pro pigskin game coverage. The service’s 13-game, Thursday Night Football schedule averaged a 5.0 U.S. household rating and 8 million viewers, including contributions from the over-the-air stations that aired the games in the participating teams’ home markets. That marked respective gains of 9% and 10% from the 2012 season, as NFL Network notched a fifth consecutive season of record audiences.
Gauged strictly from a cable perspective, NFL Network’s 13 games -- minus the unscheduled San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders late-night broadcast on Sunday, Oct. 6 -- tackled a 4.4 final rating and 7.06 million viewers. That represented 10% and 11% amelioration, respectively, from the previous records of a 4.0 rating and 6.35 million viewers set last season, the first that featured the additional five games and included subscribers from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cablevision.
Capped by the week three match between the Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid’s old club, the Philadelphia Eagles, each week of the 2013 Thursday Night Football schedule stood as the day’s most-watched program on cable television.
The Sept. 19 telecast, in which the Chiefs topped the Eagles 26-16, scored a 7.0 household rating and 11.1 million viewers, making it the highest-rated Thursday Night Football telecast in NFL Network history, ahead of the 6.9 mark for the New England Patriots-New York Jets on Sept. 12.