The NFL and NBC may have lost their Thanksgiving night spotlight due to the Baltimore COVID-19 outbreak, but Steelers-Ravens still managed to draw plenty of eyeballs for its unorthodox Wednesday afternoon kickoff.
Demonstrating again why theirs is the NFL’s most competitive, intriguing rivalry, Pittsburgh and Baltimore drew an average of 11.4 million viewers across television and streaming platforms last Wednesday.
An average of 10.8 million tuned in exclusively on television, making the game the most-watched weekday afternoon show of the year, according to Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal.
So Ravens-Steelers on NBC on Wednesday from 3:41-6:46pm averaged 11.4 million viewers (streaming + TV). TV only = 10.8 million, marking most-watched weekday afternoon show of 2020 (excluding holidays). Helped Xmas Tree Lighting on NBC rise to 7.4 million— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) December 4, 2020
NBC opted for the peculiar 3:40 kickoff time as to not interfere with their Christmas Tree Lightning broadcast later that night, but the game actually ended up bolstering their viewership for the annual tradition. Many football fans opted to stick around after watching the Steelers improve to 11-0, as NBC also saw their average viewership rise to 7.4 million.
While the league and NBC were never going to make up the viewership they missed out on in primetime on Thanksgiving, they will certainly be encouraged by their ability to make the best of their most challenging virus-related circumstances yet.