Note: No Brett Favre lead to a drop of only 3% in the overnight ratings vs. the kickoff game last season.
via press release:
NFL KICKOFF ON NBC SCORES SECOND-BEST NFL PRIMETIME REGULAR-SEASON OVERNIGHT IN 13 YEARS
Packers-Saints 17.2/28 Overnight is Second-Best NFL Kickoff Game Ever & Second-Best NBC Primetime NFL Game Ever
NBC Dominates Primetime Competition
NEW YORK – Sept. 9, 2011 – Last night’s NFL Kickoff game on NBC between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints was the second-highest rated NFL regular-season primetime game in 13 years; the second-highest rated NFL Kickoff game ever; the second-highest rated NBC regular-season primetime game ever; and defeated its closest primetime competition among the broadcast networks by 283 percent, according to overnight ratings data released today by The Nielsen Company.
The game, which featured the last two Super Bowl champions and was won by the Packers, 42-34, scored a 17.2 overnight rating/28 share (8:45-11:45 p.m. ET), the second-highest regular-season primetime NFL rating on any network since Dec. 21, 1998 (Broncos-Dolphins, 17.4/27). It was also the second-highest rated NFL Kickoff ever and the second-highest rated NBC regular-season primetime game ever behind only last year’s Thursday night NFL Kickoff (17.7/28; down 3%), which featured a NFC Championship Game rematch between the Minnesota Vikings, led by quarterback Brett Favre, and the then-defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
The rating peaked just before halftime with an 18.8/29 from 9:30-10 p.m. The Packers rotated between eight- and 15-point leads for the entire second half.
NBC DOMINATES PRIMETIME: NBC dominated primetime (8-11 p.m.) with a 16.1/26 average in the metered markets, establishing a 283-percent margin of victory over CBS's second-place 4.2/7 and beating the combined delivery of CBS, ABC (3.3/5), Fox (2.5/4) and CW (0.7/1) by 50 percent.
The 16.1/26 primetime overnight is the highest 8-11 p.m. average for any network on television since May 25 (Fox, American Idol finale, 17.1/27) and the highest non-Olympic Thursday night average for NBC since the Frasier finale more than seven years ago, May 13, 2004 (17.4/25), even topping the primetime average for last year’s NFL Kickoff (15.9/26)
The final half hour of NFL Kickoff 2011 (8-8:30 pm), the pregame show to celebrate the start of the NFL season, generated a 9.4 overnight rating, up 11 percent versus last year (8.5/15).
NFL KICKOFF – THURSDAY NIGHT SEASON OPENERS OVERNIGHT RATINGS:
2011: NBC 17.2/28 (Green Bay 42 – New Orleans 34)
2010: NBC 17.7/28 (New Orleans 14 – Minnesota 9)
2009: NBC 13.8/23 (Pittsburgh 13 – Tennessee 10)
2008: NBC 10.1/17 (NY Giants 16 – Washington 7)*
2007: NBC 13.0/21 (Indianapolis 41 – New Orleans 10)
2006: NBC 13.5/22 (Pittsburgh 28 - Miami 17)
2005: ABC 13.1/22 (New England 30 – Oakland 20)
2004: ABC 12.6/20 (New England 27 – Indianapolis 24)
2003: ABC 14.5/23 (Washington 16 – NY Jets 13)
2002: ESPN 7.6/13 (Houston 19 – Dallas 10)**
*Early start due to the Republican National Convention
**U.S. HH Rating: overnight rating not available
TOP METERED MARKETS FOR SAINTS-PACKERS:
New Orleans, 57.7/75
Kansas City, 23.0/34
Las Vegas, 21.7/33