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NFL Network Experiences Highs For 2009



sg_nflnetworkWhile some bemoan football on Christmas, the NFL loves it.

The Christmas night game between the San Diego Chargers and the Tennessee Titans pulled in an average of 6.9 million viewers on the NFL Network despite your friends and family being in eggnog comas.

The Dec. 19 Cowboys-Saints match-up was the most-watched game of the season on NFL Network, as 10.5 million viewers watched Dallas give New Orleans its first loss of the season.

The network continues to have carriage issues with Time Warner Cable, but recently signed deals with small cablers Grande Communications, Knology and Massillon. If a deal with Time Warner can be settled, NFL Network could get upward of 10 million more viewers.

The network continues to have carriage issues with Time Warner Cable, but recently signed deals with small cable groups Grande Communications, Knology and Massillon. If a deal with Time Warner can be settled, NFL Network could get upwards of 10 million more viewers.

With the Indianapolis Colts-Jacksonville Jaguars game on Dec. 17 averaging 6.2 million watchers and the New York Giants-Denver Broncos contest on Thanksgiving night delivering 6.1 million, NFL Network, now in some 55 million homes, notched four of its five most-watched games this season.

The NFL Network’s overall average is 5.5 million viewers for its eight game schedule, which is a 49-percent jump from their 3.7 million rating from 2008. However, going back to 2007, 2009’s growth was 20-percent more than that year’s 4.6 million season. The fledgling network also notes that its prime time lineup was better than the 4.8 million rating posted by rivals TBS, ESPN and TNT, which posted with the showcasing of the 2009 NBA Playoffs. NFL Network’s numbers are also better than TBS’ Major League Baseball postseason average of 5.1 million.

Yet for the NBA ad MLB, those averages are spread over more games and NFL commands a bigger audience. Still, for the NFL Network, being only available in less than 50% of homes, those numbers issued by the station is pretty good. TBS, TNT and ESPN are available in more than 86-percent of homes. For 2009, NFL Network’s gains can be attributed to the network being available in more than 13 million homes than 2008, thanks to striking a deal with Comcast Cable.

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