Apparently, rivalry games between two teams in major media markets with large fanbases who live outside said media markets do very good television ratings! NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello, who is almost certainly an accurate source of information on these matters, has tweeted that the Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins netted the biggest television ratings ever in Week 3 for MNF.
FOX and NBC's numbers were up as well. So much for fear of fan backlash over the lockout. It became apparent pretty early on in August that the NFL wouldn't lose any fans as long as they didn't miss any games. The league avoided that, and as a result their popularity hasn't taken a hit at all.