On the last Thursday before the 2014 NFL season kicks off, primetime was a field of preseason preemptions on the Big 4. With 16 games in local markets all across the county, every network had a match-up, including Super Bowl champs the Seattle Seahawks who lost to the Oakland Raiders. That game was seen on Fox affiliates in San Francisco and in the Emerald City and on the CW in the midnight hour. All of which is to say that the preliminary ratings today are essentially meaningless as everyone is inflated. For instance, CBS was preempted in 27% of the nation from 8 PM – 9 PM, 23% over the next hour and 13% from 10 PM – 11 PM. No wonder they were the top rated network of the night with a 1.7/6 and also the most watched with 6.13 million viewers.
So the big adult 18-49 results for Big Brother (2.5/8), ABC’s 2-hour The Quest (0.9/3) and the double dose finale of NBC’s Welcome To Sweden at 9 PM (1.3/4) and 9:30 PM (1.1/4) are all likely going down in the final numbers later today. Like last week, Fox and The CW aren’t really a factor as they both had a night of encores on the board anyway. On a scheduling note, as the reigning top dogs, the Seahawks will play the first game of the new season at home against the Green Bay Packers on September 4 – those numbers will be very real for NBC.