2014: Thursday Night Football on CBS



12/23/2014


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NFL 2014: A Local Success is an analysis of the recently concluded Thursday Night Football partnership between CBS and the NFL Network (NFLN). The analysis reveals broadcast television as the driving force of live NFL viewership. In an attempt to build viewership and extend reach, the NFL elected to air Thursday night games for weeks 2-8 of the 2014 season simultaneously on broadcast TV (CBS) and cable network NFLN. The remaining games returned to NFLN nationally and were locally simulcast (as contractually stipulated) only on teams’ hometown broadcast TV stations.

TVB’s analysis examines National Primetime deliveries for Thursday Night Football games in the 2013 season (NFLN only) and 2014 season to-date, and compares the performance of games airing on broadcast (CBS) and cable (NFLN) networks.

Highlights of the results of TVB’s analysis include the following:

  • CBS was the most-watched network on Thursday nights for the seven weeks they airedThursday Night Football games, averaging over 16 million viewers (P2+).
  • CBS Primetime viewership for P2+ was up 61% with Thursday Night Football, compared to the same time period the previous year.
  • Despite some early lopsided games, over weeks 2-8, CBS nationally averaged a 6.6 rating with Adults 25-54, and an 8.8 rating with Men 25-54.
  • In the playing teams’ home markets, the CBS affiliates averaged a 19.2 rating Men 25-54. Standout performances include:
    • Denver’s KCNC delivered a 32.2 rating Men 25-54 for the Denver / San Diego match-up on 10/23/14.
    • Baltimore’s WJZ delivered a 28.0 rating Men 25-54 for the Baltimore / Pittsburgh game on 9/11/14.
  • The NFLN Thursday games without the CBS simulcast in weeks 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 have averaged a 4.3 RM25-54, down -4% from last season.
     
Weeks 2-8 CBS + NFLN + Home Market Affiliates RM25-54
Thursday Teams (Score) Market CBS NFLN
9/11/14 Baltimore Ravens (26) Baltimore 28.0 5.6
Pittsburgh Steelers (6) Pittsburgh 26.7 1.6
National Delivery 10.3 2.2
9/18/14 Atlanta Falcons (54) Atlanta 9.3 3.9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14) Tampa Bay 9.6 3.3
National Delivery 6.8 1.7
9/25/14 New York Giants (45) New York 11.4 2.3
Washington Redskins (14) Washington DC 15.3 3.9
National Delivery 8.9 2.2
10/2/14 Green Bay Packers (42) Milwaukee N/A N/A
Minnesota Vikings (10) Minneapolis 25.1 1.8
National Delivery 8.4 1.9
10/9/14 Indianapolis Colts (33) Indianapolis N/A N/A
Houston Texans (28) Houston 16.8 3.0
National Delivery 8.7 2.3
10/16/14 New England Patriots (27) Boston 27.4 4.0
New York Jets (25) New York 9.9 1.1
National Delivery 8.3 2.1
10/23/14 Denver Broncos (35) Denver 32.2 4.0
San Diego Chargers (21) San Diego N/A N/A
National Delivery 10.3 2.4
7 Game Local Market Average 19.2 4.0
7 Game National Average 8.8 2.2

N/A = Market is metered only, RM25-54 not available.

Weeks 9-16 NFLN + Home Market Stations RM25-54
Thursday Teams (Score) Market Station NFLN
10/30/14 New Orleans Saints (28) New Orleans N/A N/A
Carolina Panthers (10) Charlotte 17.0 5.1
National Delivery 3.7
11/6/14 Cleveland Browns (24) Cleveland 28.3 6.7
Cincinnati Bengals (3) Cincinnati N/A N/A
National Delivery 5.0
11/13/14 Miami Dolphins (22) Miami 9.0 7.3
Buffalo Bills (9) Buffalo N/A N/A
National Delivery 4.6
11/20/14 Kansas City Chiefs (20) Kansas City N/A N/A
Oakland Raiders (24) San Francisco 5.8 5.2
National Delivery 4.6
12/4/14 Chicago Bears (28) Chicago 15.6 6.1
Dallas Cowboys (41) Dallas-Ft. Worth 18.2 4.6
National Delivery 5.4
12/11/14 Arizona Cardinals (12) Phoenix 13.6 7.3
St. Louis Rams (6) St. Louis 9.9 6.0
National Delivery 4.3
12/18/14 Jacksonville Jaguars (21) Jacksonville N/A N/A
Tennessee Titans (13) Nashville N/A N/A
National Delivery 2.6
6 Game Local Market Average 14.7 6.0
7 Game National Average 4.3

N/A = Market is metered only, RM25-54 not available. Syndicated = Per NFL rules, games on cable are simulcast in the home teams market.

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