NFL Kickoff Game Drops 12 Percent From 2016 in Early Ratings

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots hands off huge Nielsen numbers to NBC

Last Updated: September 8, 2017 @ 7:59 AM

We all knew NBC would win last night — but how many of you had the Chiefs? (And be honest, commenters.)

The 2017 NFL Kickoff Game slipped 12 percent versus 2016’s version, putting up a 14.6 rating/25 share. Last year’s — a rematch of Super Bowl 50 — was already down 7 percentage points when compared with its own predecessor.

The 2016 season-opener (a 16.5 overnight rating) featured a rematch from the prior year’s big game. And it was a close contest, as the defending champion Denver Broncos edged the opposition Carolina Panthers by just one point. This time around, the reigning champ Pats suffered a surprise loss at home, 42-27.

Here are the particulars from Thursday: NBC was a clear No. 1 among adults 18-49, with the 14.6 more than doubling the primetime averages for the other three Big 4 broadcast networks combined. Additionally, that gaudy Nielsen number is the best rating for any network telecast since June 12.

And here are the Top 10 local markets last night — the biggest ones should come as no surprise, given the matchup:
1. Providence 35.6/55
2. Kansas City 35.5/55
3, Boston 35.0/59
4. Denver 20.6/38
5. New Orleans 20.4/29
6. Norfolk 18.9/31
7. Richmond 18.9/30
8. Buffalo 17.7/30
9. Milwaukee 17.2/28
10. Seattle 17.1/32

Final viewership numbers should be available later on Friday.

Carli Velocci contributed to this report.