Ratings: NBC’s Preseason Football Fends Off ‘Big Brother’-Boosted CBS

Preliminary Nielsen numbers have Falcons-Dolphins game atop the key demo, but not total viewers … for now

NFL preseason football

As it stands right now, NBC’s primetime preseason football game handed the network a Thursday night victory in the key 18-49 demographic — but not a win among total viewers.

That’s CBS’ honor for the moment, which may change when final Nielsen numbers adjust for time zones and local market preemptions. So, enjoy the top spot while it lasts, “Big Brother.”

The final outcome matters more than usual this time, as NBC was attempting to break its own record last night for most consecutive primetimes won in a row among an overall audience. At the moment, the network has fallen just a bit shy. We’ll know within a few hours if those fortunes reverse.

NBC was first in ratings with a 1.6 rating/6 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in total viewers with an average of 5.66 million, according to early numbers. The broadcaster aired the Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins game through the entirety of primetime.

CBS was second in ratings with a 1.4/5 and in viewers with 5.71 million. Following reruns, “Big Brother” at 9 p.m. ET earned a 1.9/7 and 6.1 million viewers. Another repeat followed.

ABC and Fox tied for third in ratings, both with a 0.8/3. ABC was third in total viewers with 3.4 million, Fox was fourth with 3.2 million, airing reruns. That said, both CBS and Fox had some preemptions for NFL coverage.

For ABC, “BattleBots” at 8 p.m. ET received a 0.8/3 and 3.5 million viewers. Repeats followed.

Telemundo was fifth in ratings with a 0.7/3 and in viewers with 1.9 million.

Univision was sixth in ratings with a 0.5/2 and in viewers with 1.5 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 756,000. Following a rerun, “Beauty & the Beast” at 9 p.m. ET managed a 0.2/1 and 706,000 viewers.