Donald Trump credits himself as giving the first GOP televised debate huge ratings. Tom Brady might do the same for Thursday night’s NFL season opener.
With spared-from-suspension Brady throwing four touchdowns, the NFL Kickoff game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers drew the second-largest audience in the 14-year history of the event, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Friday by Nielsen.
The Patriots’ 28-21 victory Thursday averaged 27.4 million viewers, trailing only the 2010 game between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings, which averaged 27.49 million viewers.
The viewership was the most for a prime-time program since the NCAA men’s basketball championship game on CBS averaged 28.26 million viewers on April 6.
The 12-minute kickoff show immediately preceding the game averaged 20.99 million viewers, while a 29-minute pregame show averaged 12.56 million viewers.
The night’s most-watched nonfootball program was a rerun of the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” which averaged 7.68 million viewers.
— Staff and wire reports