It started out well for the Carolina Panthers, but the good times didn’t last long as Cam Newton and the boys were pummeled by the Pittsburgh Steelers 52-21 in the Steel City on Thursday Night Football.
There was a somber air to the game in a town still in deep mourning for the 11 people murdered in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting on October 27. In tribute, members of both teams wore “Stronger than Hate” cleats in honor of the victims. Earlier in the day, the Panthers delivered their own tribute:
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 8, 2018
For the NFL Network and Fox, this week’s very one-sided Thursday Night Football delivered a strong rebound from last and last year. Pulling in a 10.5/18 in metered market results, TNF easily took the top spot among the Big 4 and the CW for a seventh week in a row.
That’s a 28% jump over last week’s game, the San Francisco 49ers’ rout of the Oakland Raiders, and up 12% over the Week 10 TNF of last season when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals in the debut of the midweek NFL matchup on NBC.
While the fans giveth and taketh away when it comes to ratings game to game, overall its appears Rupert Murdoch’s multibillion-dollar bet on TNF is paying off for a network aiming for a new-ish path. It’s all in the math: Right now, TNF on Fox and the NFL Network is doing better on average by 14% than at the same time last season, when controversies and disputes over players’ protests surrounded the game.
To add another perspective, the November 9, 2017 Seahawks-Cardinals game went on to earn a 4.0/16 rating among adults 18-49 and 13.10 million viewers, which was about 700,000 sets of eyeballs less than CBS’ The Big Bang Theory that night. The Battle of the Bay of last week scored a 3.2/15 in the key demo and an audience of 11.06 million, which about 1.5 million off from what the science geek sitcom drew.
With fast affiliates just in for last night’s TNF, the Steelers’ win has a viewership of 10.75 million and a 3.3/14 among the 18-49s. Looks OK compared to last week and last year, but remember last night’s numbers will see an adjustment when the final numbers come in later today.
UPDATE: Despite strong NFL, the night’s No. 1 entertainment show, CBS’s Big Bang Theory (2.3, 12.71M) climbed 2/10ths week to week, after which Young Sheldon (1.8, 10.96M) enjoyed a 1/10th pickup. The rest of CBS’ lineup held steady week to week, including Mom (1.2, 8.16M), Murphy Brown (0.8, 6.09M) and S.W.A.T. (0.7, 5.10M).
On ABC, Grey’s Anatomy (1.5, 6.56M) was flat, Station 19 (1,0, 5.06M) picked up 1/10th, but How to Get Away With Murder (0,7, 3.06M slipped to match its series low
NBC’s Superstore (0.9, 3.30M) delivered its most watched episode since March 22, while The Good Place (0,8, 2.78M) scored a five-week high.
Will & Grace took the night off; The Voice clip job (0.7, 3.81M) filled in at 9 PM. NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (0.9, 4.43M) ranked No. 1 among 10 PM dramas.
Both CW’s Supernatural (0.3, 1.41M) and Legacies (0.3, 1.11M) lost 1/10th compared to previous week.
Fox (3.3, 10.75M) finished first in both metrics, followed by CBS (1.3, 8.60M), ABC (1.1, 4.90M), then NBC (0.8, 3.58M); CW (0.3, 12.6M) followed.