A slate of not quite premiere games saw NFL TV ratings drops across the board for all three of the football networks on Sunday.
Starting off with the Fox singleheader window, which featured an exciting Bucs-Giants game and Cowboys-Seahawks in most of the country, but still ended up lower than last year's similar window. The games drew a 13.3 overnight rating, showing a drop of three percent from a Bears-Saints-headed window last season. It's worth noting, however, that the window from last year drew a 12-year high for Fox in that window, so the drop isn't all that bad. In fact, the network is still up big from 2010 and 2009 with these games.
Meanwhile, CBS had its first doubleheader of the season, which aired to mixed results. Game one of the double-dip, featuring an exciting Ravens-Eagles tilt, drew an 11.6 overnight, up 14 percent from last year's window, which featured Jaguars-Jets. It was also well up from the same window in 2009 and 2010. The late game window, however, was down from last year. Perhaps people aren't quite ready to buy in to Jets hype just yet, as Gang Green's loss to the Steelers drew a 14.4 overnight, a drop of five percent from last year's late games, which featured Patriots-Chargers. CBS still had the highest NFL ratings of the day.
In primetime, people just weren't that interested in the phony controversy created after Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh's tussle after the Lions-49ers game last year. A largely uncompetitive Sunday Night Football game drew a 13.9 overnight, down 12 percent from last year's Eagles-Falcons game, which featured Michael Vick's return to Atlanta. Detroit and San Francisco are also teams that have just become good in the past year or so, and it takes time for those teams to become heavy hitters with casual fans. Both teams will get shots in the big national windows later this season, so it'll be worth seeing if ratings improve for each.
Week 2 NFL Ratings
12:00 Fox NFL Sunday (Fox) - 3.4
12:00 The NFL Today (CBS) - 2.6
1:00/4:00 The NFL on Fox, singleheader (Tampa Bay-NY Giants, Minnesota-Indianapolis, Arizona-New England, New Orleans-Carolina, Dallas-Seattle, Washington-St. Louis) - 13.3
1:00 The NFL on CBS, Game 1 (Baltimore-Philadelphia, Houston-Jacksonville, Oakland-Miami, Cleveland-Cincinnati, Kansas City-Buffalo) - 11.6
4:25 The NFL on CBS, Game 2 (NY Jets-Pittsburgh, Tennessee-San Diego) - 14.4
7:00 Football Night in America - 6.4