Shame on you, America: Fourth NFL preseason game dominates TV ratings in most markets

Grant Halverson

Not only were the numbers big, but they trounced other major sporting events in their markets.

A lot of the work I've been doing lately has involved asking TV executives when people are going to get sick of football. Sure, all of them are worried that at some point the bubble will burst. None of them think it's going to happen any time soon, and Thursday night was the greatest example.

Led by New Orleans -- in which more than a third of the people in that market watched -- the night of 16 Week 4 pre-season games dominated television across local markets on Thursday. Only two markets that split teams, the Bay Area and New York could really walk away saying they drew anything less than terrific ratings. Both of those markets could still combine the two and point and how many people tuned into football.

Some of the more frightening numbers: A 21.3 rating for the Steelers game nearly tripled an 8.3 for the competing Pirates game, which is just disturbing considering the Bucs are in a pennant race. The Titans beat the season opener for Vanderbilt football, 14.2 to 12.5. The two New York teams (5.5 for the Giants, 3.6 for the Jets) easily trumped college football (1.1 for North Carolina-South Carolina, 0.8 for Vandy-Ole Miss, 0.6 for Rutgers-Fresno State). The Vikings (16.2) easily beat Minnesota football's season opener (5.6).

I've listed the ratings in all 29 markets that participated (Buffalo, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay were shamed by local blackouts) below. Now, when you wonder why Roger Goodell and his ilk can more or less do whatever they want, remember how many people will blindly watch a Saints-Dolphins Week 4 pre-season game. We can do better than this, America.

Market Network Game Rating
New Orleans WVUE (Fox) New Orleans vs. Miami 33.5
Seattle KCPQ (Fox) Oakland vs. Seattle 25.0
Kansas City KCTV (CBS) Green Bay vs. Kansas City 23.8
Pittsburgh KDKA (CBS) Pittsburgh vs. Carolina 21.3
Houston KTRK (ABC) Houston vs. Dallas 19.2
Denver KTVD (My Network TV) Arizona vs. Denver 18.6
Baltimore WBAL (NBC) Baltimore vs. St. Louis 16.2
Minneapolis-St. Paul KARE (NBC) Tennessee vs. Minnesota 16.2
Boston WBZ (CBS) NY Giants vs. New England 14.5
Cleveland WKYC (NBC) Cleveland vs. Chicago 14.4
Nashville WKRN (ABC) Tennessee vs. Minnesota 14.2
Charlotte WCCB (The CW) Pittsburgh vs. Carolina 14.0
San Diego KFMB (CBS) San Francisco vs. San Diego 14.0
Milwaukee WTMJ (NBC) Green Bay vs. Kansas City 12.9
Chicago WFLD (Fox) Cleveland vs. Chicago 12.4
Philadelphia WPVI (ABC) Philadelphia vs. NY Jets 10.6
Detroit KTVD (My Network TV) Detroit vs. Buffalo 10.2
Bay Area KPIX (CBS) San Francisco vs. San Diego 10.2
Jacksonville WTEV (CBS) Jacksonville vs. Atlanta 10.0
Dallas KTVT (CBS) Houston vs. Dallas 9.9
St. Louis KTVI (Fox) Baltimore vs. St. Louis 9.7
Phoenix KNXV (ABC) Arizona vs. Denver 9.2
Washington WRC (NBC) Washington vs. Tampa Bay 9.2
Indianapolis WNDY (My Network TV) Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati 8.9
Miami WFOR (CBS) New Orleans vs. Miami 6.8
Atlanta WGCL (CBS) Jacksonville vs. Atlanta 6.0
New York WNBC (NBC) NY Giants vs. New England 5.5
New York WCBS (CBS) Philadelphia vs. NY Jets 3.6
Bay Area KTVU (Fox) Oakland vs. Seattle 2.7

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