(USA Today) -- The NFL, after record TV ratings the past two seasons, drew big Week 1 ratings.
Fox's late-afternoon game, featuring San Francisco at Green Bay, drew a 17.2 overnight rating, translating into 17.2% of households in the 56 urban TV markets measured for overnights. That is up 2% from comparable Fox NFL coverage last year, which featured a N.Y. Giants-Washington game.
Still, it's a record of sorts: That 17.2 overnight is the highest NFL Week 1 overnight ever for Fox, which has been carrying the NFL since 1994.
NBC's Pittsburgh-Denver Sunday prime time game drew an 18.0 overnight, which is up 7% from comparable NBC coverage of a Dallas-N.Y. Jets game last year. But it was noteworthy that it was the best NFL Week 1 overnight since a 20.2 for a Dallas-Chicago game on ABC in 1996 and the best NFL prime time game since NFL prime time overnight since a Denver-San Francisco game in 1997.
CBS always has only early-afternoon Week 1 regionalized NFL coverage, so it can air U.S. Open coverage in the late afternoon. CBS coverage Sunday, featuring Buffalo-N.Y. Jets, drew a 10.6 overnight, even with comparable coverage from last year.