UPDATE, 1:25 PM: The final score is in for last night’s NFL regular season opener on NBC. The numbers saw a slight rise that brought Thursday game within tackle distance of the best result of the past 11 years. In time zone-adjusted final ratings last night’s 9:15 PM-12:25 AM blowout victory by the Denver Broncos pulled in a 10.3/27 among adults 18-49. Fast nationals earlier today had the game getting a 10.0/27 ratings. Today’s final number is a 6% bump over last season’s 9.7/26 final numbers for the regular-season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Last night’s game was the third best result since the Thursday kickoff started back in 2002. Not that it was that far behind the top spot. The top two Kickoff results in the key demo are the 10.9 rating that 2011’s September 8 season opener between Green Bay Packers and New Orleans drew and the 10.7 rating that 2010′s New Orleans-Minnesota game pulled. Viewership from last night’s game was also up over 2012. The Broncos-Ravens game garnered 25.133 million viewers. Without Bill Clinton’s speech at last year’s DNC as competition, that’s up 5% from the 23.886 million who watched the Cowboys-Giants game. Last night’s game was also the third-most-watched NFL Kickoff in the last 11 years behind the 27.5 million of 2010’s New Orleans-Minnesota game and the 27.1 million of 2011’s Green Bay-New Orleans matchup.
PREVIOUSLY, 8:42 AM: What a difference a year makes. Last September 5th, the NFL regular season opened on NBC facing Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Last night’s season opener (10.0/27) featuring the Denver Broncos soundly beating the Super Bowl champ Baltimore Ravens 49-27 didn’t face any such competition. Neither did NBC as it easily won the night in adults 18-49 with a 9.2/26 and among total viewers and 23.190 million watching. CBS came in second with a 1.5/5 rating and a viewership of 5.891 million.
Starting off with a just more than 40-minute delay because of weather, the Peyton Manning-dominated game was up from the 9.7/26 final numbers of last year’s season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants over the 8:30-11 PM ET primetime period. Fast nationals to fast nationals, this year’s opener is up 15% over 2012′s 8.7/23. With 24.8 million watching, Thursday’s game was also up in viewership by nearly 1 million (last year’s season opener pulled in 23.886 million viewers). Thursday saw a 13% increase in usage among adults 18-49 between 8-11 PM. As is the norm with live events, expect greater than usual adjustments when final numbers and time-zone adjustments come out later today. Led by Bob Costas, the 8 PM Football Night In America: Kick-Off 2013 (5.6/19) was up 2% from last year’s fast national of 5.5/17 which was later adjusted to a 3./14.
In time-zone adjusted meter-market results, the 9:15 PM-12:30 AM ET game drew a 16.2/29 last night in metered market households. While a record share for NFL football on NBC during the past 11 years, last night’s household number is down a bit from the 16.5/26 last year’s 8:45-11:30 PM game. Denver was the top market with a 43.9 and Baltimore was No. 2 with a 37.6. New Orleans (25.1), Indianapolis (24.9) and Nashville (22.6) filled out the top 5. In the 8-11 PM primetime block, this season’s NFL opener received a 14.9/25 in metered-market households – the best Thursday night average for any of the Big 4 in more than year dating back to NBC’s 2012 Summer Olympics coverage.
Over on CBS on Thursday, there was live TV with the Big Brother (2.4/6) eviction show. Actually it was the second double eviction of the series’ 15th season. Also the reality staple’s 500th episode, last night’s show was up 33% from the final numbers August 29. CBS ran repeats the rest of the night.
With Motive having wrapped up its freshman season, ABC ran a special two-hour Wipeout (1.1/3) last night. Rookie Blue (1.0/3) followed with the Canadian import up 11% from last week.
Fox was all encores Thursday.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.