Thursday Night Football 2014: Are NFL Blowouts Affecting Ratings? How Many People Are Watching TNF?

In this Oct. 5, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, in Denver. The Broncos won 41-20. Brett Favre says he couldn't be happier to see Peyton Manning on the brink of breaking his own NFL record of 508 touchdown throws. Manning has 503 heading into Denver's road game Sunday Oct. 12 against the New York Jets. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, File)
In this Oct. 5, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, in Denver. The Broncos won 41-20. Brett Favre says he couldn't be happier to see Peyton Manning on the brink of breaking his own NFL record of 508 touchdown throws. Manning has 503 heading into Denver's road game Sunday Oct. 12 against the New York Jets. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, File)
In this Oct. 5, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, File)

(International Business Times) – NFL players don’t like it and none of this year’s games have been competitive. While “Thursday Night Football” has had its issues in 2014, the American public is still watching the product in droves, offering further proof that the NFL is a television-ratings powerhouse.

In Week 2, CBS began broadcasting its first of eight “Thursday Night Football” games that are also simulcast on the NFL Network. Halfway through its slate of games, “America’s Most-Watched Network” is reaping the benefits of broadcasting an extra night of football. An average of 16.2 million viewers are tuning into the first game of each NFL weekly schedule. The most recent Thursday night game increased CBS’s primetime viewership by 33 percent, as compared to last year.

Last Thursday, an average of 16.5 million viewers watched the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings, 42-10. Even though the game was a blowout, CBS still led all networks with a 9.9 rating, surpassing ABC’s 7.7 rating, and beating the combined rating of FOX (3.6) and NBC (3.3).

Closer games would likely mean higher ratings for CBS. No contest on Thursday night has been decided by less than 20 points, and tighter scores would improve fourth-quarter viewership. Overall, though, the NFL has done just fine, despite the large margins of victory, viewers aren’t tuning out.

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