Sunday's Cowboys-Jets game was part of a weekend that saw the NFL smash ratings records almost across the board. I guess people have forgiven the league for the lockout.
Three Kickoff Weekend games topped 25 million average viewers -- NBC Thursday night opener (Saints-Packers, 27.2 million), FOX national game telecast (mostly Giants-Redskins, 25.8 million) and the NBC Sunday night game (Cowboys-Jets, 25.8 million) – to rank as the three most-watched sporting events since Super Bowl XLV. These three telecasts rank among the seven most-watched shows among all television programs since Super Bowl Sunday including awards shows, such as the Academy Awards, and season finales.
· Three teams delivered record-setting ratings for season-openers in their home markets led by Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay (53.1 rating) followed by New England (33.9) and the New York Jets (19.7).
· Five clubs (Denver, Green Bay, Miami, N.Y. Jets, and Oakland) posted local ratings increases of more than 20 percent for Week 1.
I think there were three contributing factors behind the success of the Jets-Cowboys game. First, I think people were looking for a distraction after a day remembering 9/11/01. I think a New York team playing on that day drew some people in. Finally, a good game between two high profile teams to open the season was bound to do a big number.