SBD/August 4, 2017/Media

NBC Rating For Thursday HOF Game Lower Than Recent Sunday Night Iterations

NBC drew a 5.4 overnight rating for the Pro Football HOF game Thursday night between the Cowboys and Cardinals, marking the first time the game aired on a weeknight. The 5.4 is down sharply from a 6.9 overnight on a Sunday night two years ago on NBC, when the telecast featured Vikings-Steelers. Last year's game was canceled due to poor field conditions. The '14 Giants-Bills HOF game on NBC drew a 5.8 overnight, while Cowboys-Dolphins in '13 drew a 6.7. Despite the drop from recent years, Cowboys-Cardinals last night marks the best weeknight NFL preseason game in six years, dating back to a 5.7 overnight for Eagles-Steelers in August '11. NBC also still drew a primetime win with the HOF game. Dallas-Ft. Worth led all markets with a 13.9 local rating (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

TALKING PRESEASON: ESPN’s Tony Reali said despite being an exhibition game, the “ratings are there.” The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan said the NFL plays these exhibition games because the “owners make money" and "force season-ticket holders to buy tickets to these games.” L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: “I’m stunned that the union by now hasn’t said, ‘You know what, why do we even play any exhibition games at all?’” Plaschke: “Just because people watch it, doesn’t mean they ought to do it” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 8/3).

LOOKS NICE: NBC’s Al Michaels said of the upgrades going on at the HOF, “Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village is undergoing a $700 million expansion that will transform the Hall of Fame into the ultimate football destination.” Michaels: “What a job they’ve done. We’ve been coming here for over 30 years ... and it was a whole different scene (last year).” Michaels said, "They had the disaster last year when the field was unplayable and they had to cancel the game, but they cleaned everything up. New FieldTurf here (and) they’ve done a heck of a job” (“Cardinals-Cowboys,” NBC, 8/3).
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