• Loading stock data...
Saturday, July 20, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

NBC’s NFL Kickoff Audience For Bills-Rams Drops 19%

  • Death of Queen Elizabeth II drew viewers to news programming.
  • Bills’ lopsided 31-10 win over Rams didn’t provide much drama.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Big news days and lopsided scores hurt sports TV ratings. Even those of the powerful NFL.

NBC Sports is projecting its coverage of the 2022 Kickoff Game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams averaged 21 million-plus viewers Thursday night across its linear and digital channels. 

That’s down around 19% from 26 million for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys season opener last year. 

Several factors could help explain the slump. 

First, as sports networks learned over the years, big news and controversy takes viewers away from sports.

Josh Allen’s Bills dominated Matthew Stafford and the Super Bowl champion Rams on the same day that 96-year old Queen Elizabeth II of England passed away after a historic 70-year reign. Her death was a global story — and some viewers remained glued to news channels like Fox and CNN.

Second, the Bills convincing 31-10 victory over the Rams didn’t provide much drama in the second half as Stafford turned the ball over and Alllen steamrolled the Rams defense.

“He’s a very special player, he’s a superstar, he can beat you with brains and brawn,” said NBC’s Chris Simms about the Bills’ young QB.

Conversely, the Bucs’s 31-29 win over the Cowboys last year was a thriller, with Tom Brady throwing four TDs in a come-from-behind fourth-quarter victory over Dak Prescott and America’s Team. 

NBC noted Bills-Rams had the largest scoring margin in a Kickoff game since 2013. 

The Peacock network will return to live NFL game coverage on Sept. 11, with Brady’s Bucs again taking on Prescott’s Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football” (8 pm ET).

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.

A Year Into Josh Harris Era, Commanders Unable to Fully Break From Past

It’s been one year since Dan Snyder sold the Washington Commanders.

Lamar Jackson, Troy Aikman in Legal Battle Over the Number Eight

The two quarterbacks both have trademarks with the number.

Jaguars Sue Ex-Employee for $66.6 Million After Thefts

This could help the Jags avoid suing FanDuel and DraftKings directly.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

‘EA Sports College Football 25’: It’s More Than a Game


Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.
July 14, 2024

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’

WBD at a Crossroads: NBA Rights Decision Could Determine Its Future

Financial analysts argue for a large-scale overhaul of the TNT Sports parent company.
July 18, 2024

Just Days to Go: NBA Media-Rights Ball Officially in TNT’s Court

TNT officially has the NBA media deals on its desk.
July 18, 2024

WNBA Appears Set to Extend Season to 44 Games in 2025

The Chicago Sky told season-ticket holders they ‘expect approval’ for change.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 18, 2024

NBA’s New Money Has Josh Hart Ready to ‘Play Until My Knees Fall Off’

Hart and Jalen Brunson recently appeared on ‘Front Office Sports Today.’
July 17, 2024

What the WNBA’s Windfall Could Mean for Player Salaries

The WNBA could hit its first million-dollar annual salary as soon as 2026.
July 17, 2024

A ‘Seismic Shift’ for Women’s Sports: WNBA Lands $2.2 Billion Rights Deal

ESPN, Amazon, and NBC will pay the WNBA $200 million annually.
July 17, 2024

WNBA Strikes It Rich With $2 Billion In Media-Rights Deals

The WNBA’s boom came at a perfect time.