TV ratings: CBS football, NBC’s ‘Biggest Loser’ fall in Week 2

‘The Biggest Loser’ contestants
Contestants Jackie Pierson, Damien Woody, Chandra Maple, Lori Harrigan-Mack and Gina Haddon on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”
(NBC / Justin Lubin/NBC)

CBS’ second installment of “Thursday Night Football” was down in the ratings from the big premiere last week, as surely as the Atlanta Falcons beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Final viewership totals won’t be out until later Friday, but preliminary numbers have Thursday night’s 56-14 Atlanta victory at a 3.3 rating among key 18-to-49-year olds, the demographic most desired by advertisers. That’s down about 40% from preliminary results of last week’s Ravens-Steelers game, according to early numbers from Nielsen.

UPDATE: The Falcons-Buccaneers game on CBS and NFL Network drew 11.8 million viewers combined, down 43% compared with 20.8 million who watched last week’s “Thursday Night Football” debut, according to final numbers from Nielsen. The game’s 18-49 rating on the two networks was 4.4.

By itself, the CBS telecast drew 9.56 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in the demo, while the NFL Network simulcast brought in 2.28 million total and a 1.1 in 18-49.


Football viewership is often driven by the interest in the teams involved and whether the game is competitive. Thursday’s blowout clearly wasn’t able to keep as many viewers’ interest.

On the other hand, last week’s matchup ended in a lopsided 26-6 victory for the Baltimore Ravens over the Pittsburgh Steelers and still pulled in big numbers. Not counting a simulcast on NFL Network, that CBS game delivered 17.4 million viewers and an 18-49 rating of 5.9 when time-zone adjustments were taken into account.

Adding in the numbers from NFL Network, that game had 20.8 million viewers and a 7.5 in the key demographic.

The NFL non-contest was still easily the biggest thing in Thursday primetime television as the other big networks aired mostly reruns.


NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” dropped 19% from its week-ago premiere, to a 1.3 in 18-49, a new low for a regular telecast of the weight-loss challenge. It was the night’s highest-rated non-sports telecast, with 4.6 million viewers overall.  

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder