The NFL’s Hall of Fame Game, its annual first preseason game of the season, led Sunday’s overnight rating with a 6.7, according to NBCSports. The Cowboys beat the Dolphins 24-20 in an irrelevant game, but everyone excited for the NFL season still watched.
According to Awful Announcing, that is more than the Stanley Cup Final’s peak viewership of 5.8 during Game 6. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup, an epic triple-overtime thriller, earned a 4.8 overnight, which was good enough to be the best Game 1 television draw in 15 years, but nowhere near the most insignificant NFL game of the season.
According to Nielsen, 31 of the 32 most watched programs last season were NFL games. NBC’s Sunday Night Football has been fall’s most watched primetime show for three years running. For the first time ever in 2012 an NFL game was the most watched television event for all 17 weeks of the season.
The combination of the game being on NBC and including the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL’s most popular team, made for a perfect ratings storm.
The one true exciting aspect of early preseason is the opportunity to watch your team’s more obscure rookies. Dallas staked a 17-0 lead in the second quarter when sixth-round pick DeVonte Holloman returned an interception 75-yards for a touchdown. He is currently third on the team’s depth chart at weakside linebacker.
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