NFL Network put a bow on its 2013 Thursday Night Football coverage, scoring the third-highest-rated and fifth-most-watched contest in the service’s history with its presentation of the San Diego Chargers’ 27-20 upset of the Denver Broncos.
The pro football league’s in-house presentation of the Dec. 12 contest battle tackled a 5.6 household rating and 8.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. The final TNF entry of the 2013 season concluded a campaign-long run of registering the most-watched program on cable each Thursday of the 2013 NFL Network schedule.
The audience for the game – which saw San Diego run over its opponent to keep its postseason hopes alive and transfer Denver's hold on American Football Conference home field advantage to the New England Patriots in the process -- peaked in the first half during the 9:15 p.m. (ET) quarter hour with 9.8 million viewers and a 6.1 rating.
San-Diego-Denver now stands at the third-highest-rated game TNF telecast behind the 6.0/9.4 million viewers for Kansas City-Philadelphia on Sept. 19, 2013 and the Dec. 19, 2009 match between Dallas and New Orleans that scored a 5.7 and 10.5 million watchers.
Full-season averages – NFL Network will establish new marks – and contributions from the over-the-air stations in the participating teams’ DMAs are scheduled to be released on Monday.