Tuesday Night Football Dominates the Night

23.7 million viewers tuned in to watch Joe Webb and the Vikings upset the Eagles on Tuesday Night Football (photo courtesy: Associated Press)

While the merits of canceling the Vikings-Eagles game on Sunday night due to a pending snowstorm can still be debated, (Governor Rendell do you have a feeling on the matter?) what can’t be argued is the results. NBC scored it’s highest week 16 Football ratings ever with 23.7 million viewers tuning in, according to an NBC Sports press release.

The other winner in the postponement has to be the NFL. At at time when College Football bowls seem to be across the dial at any given moment (anyone see the Military Bowl Wednesday afternoon?) the NFL spread their product out to yet another evening they dominated. The Vikings upset over the Eagles defeated all other Tuesday night competition, the 16thstraight week that primetime NFL football on NBC won the night. 

Other leagues need to take notice, parity works. While pundits debate whether or not there is a power house NFL team this season, viewers continue to watch in record numbers.  Since NBC started airing Sunday Night Football in 2006, 7 of the top 10 rated games have come this season. Forget the Patriots undefeated run in 2007, or the Colts and Saints superiority last season -dominance doesn’t play as well across the nation. It’s a simple formula, when every team has a chance, everyone watches.

The big loser in all of this has to be the Philadelphia Eagles. Forgetting the upset to the Vikings, they now have to play 3 games in 11 or 12 days (depending on final playoff scheduling). Even if Andy Reid wanted to give players Sundays game vs the Cowboys off, it’s not like you can sit everyone. Plus, there is something to be said for going into the post-season with some momentum and confidence.

Old Man Winter must not be a Philly Phanatic.

Top 10 Primetime NFL games on NBC since 2006:

1. 12/12/10, Eagles-Cowboys, 25.73 million (SNF Week 14)
2. 10/24/10, Vikings-Packers, 25.68 million (Favre Return to Lambeau II)
3. 9/12/10, Cowboys-Redskins, 25.3 million (SNF: Week 1)
4. 9/20/09, Giants-Cowboys, 24.8 million (Dallas Cowboys stadium debut)
5. 12/19/10, Packers-Patriots, 24.2 million (SNF: Week 15)

6. 12/28/10, Vikings-Eagles, 23.7 million (Tuesday Night Game)

7. 11/21/10, Giants-Eagles, 23.2 million (SNF: Week 11)
T8. 09/19/10, Giants-Colts, 23.1 million (“Manning Bowl II”)
T8. 12/14/08, Giants-Cowboys, 23.1 million
10. 9/10/06, Colts-Giants, 22.6 million (Original “Manning Bowl”)

Courtesy: NBC Sports

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