Indianapolis Colts versus Denver Broncos was not the highest rated NFL regular season game in history. Many of us thought it indeed would be. It has to settle for good ratings, decent ratings, but not record breaking. The Peyton Manning Homecoming Game or “Peyton Manning Bowl” was ALL CAPS! in its HYPE AND PROMOTION.
OMG!! FOOTBALL FOOTBALL! OMG! COLTS! BRONCOS! PEYTON MANNING!
Manning’s return to Indy to face the Colts in “The House that Peyton Built” was over-covered by national media on a level on par with the Johnny Manziel offseason. NBC absolutely promoted the hell of it, self-promoting in a way that only NBC Sports Network can. It was aggressive, even so by NBC standards.
The Colts game posted a 17.3 overnight rating and 29 share marking the best primetime overnight for an October game in 15 years. The previous best October primetime NFL overnight was a 17.5 for Minnesota versus Green Bay on ABC on Oct. 5, 1998, as Randall Cunningham passed for 442 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-24 Vikings victory over Brett Favre and the Packers.
The 17.3 for the Colts’ down-to-the-wire 39-33 Sunday Night Football victory is the fourth-highest overnight in the eight-year history of NBC’s primetime package (including “NFL Kickoff” games).
Again, these are qualifiers and cherry-picked stats though. The Colts win did good numbers, but for this game the bar set extremely high. And because there were no big markets involved in this game, the television ratings did not even come close to meeting that bar.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a regular analyst on news talk radio stations across the world; with weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSSPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks