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December 15, 2017

‘Thursday Night Football’ Ratings Tumble To Season Low With Broncos’ Win

Perhaps adding to the chorus of criticism against the near end of week game, the stakes were pretty low for last night’s with neither the Denver Broncos nor the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs running this season.

At least with their 25-13 win, the NFL team from the Mile High City snapped an eight-game losing streak on the road in Week 15 of the season. Not that many were interested, it seems – and we don’t just mean all those empty seats in Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday in a season sideswiped by protests, controversy and ratings declines.

Snagging a 7.4/13 in metered market results, last night’s TNF was a season low for the broadcast, on both CBS and NBC and simulcast on NFL Network. Taking a double-digit hit, the December 14 game was obviously down from last week and also the comparable gridiron match-up of last year where the Seattle Seahawks beat the L.A. Rams 24-3.

Looking at the close December 7 game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, last night’s TNF was down 27% in the early ratings. That Falcons’ win went on to deliver a 4.3/17 rating among adults 18-49 and 14.61 million viewers.

In what has been a slippery season in the ratings for the NFL and broadcasters on the Big 4 and cable, last night’s TNF fell 26% in MM from the TNF of December 15, 2016. In the final numbers, that Seahawks win drew a 4.3/16 in the key demo and a total audience of 14.65 million.

To give one more bit of context, the low of the Week 15 game slide 12% in metered market ratings from the previous TNF season low of October 26, the last TNF on CBS this year. That Baltimore Ravens 40-0 demolition of the Miami Dolphins eventual pulled in a 3.4/14 among the 18-49 and 11.36 million viewers – which might be an indication of what to expect out of last night’s game.

We’ll update with TNF ratings later as well as how The Big Bang Theory, Taraji’s White Hot Holidays and the rest of the pre-holiday offering on the Big Four did last night. In the meantime, as always, here’s a stat to keep you warm until then: the Broncos vs. Colts game peaked with a 8.0/14 in the 9:30 – 10 PM ET slot. Or to put it another way, that’s down a hard 30% from the meter market peak of last week’s TNF.

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