The much anticipated official start of the preseason was kicked off on Sunday with the Hall of Fame Game, featuring the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Millions of fans tuned in to watch despite the absence of key starters such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Adrian Peterson. In fact, he 6.9 overnight rating surpassed the 6.0 rating the Stanley Cup Final received, according to Pro Football Talk. Additionally, it surpassed the viewership ratings of the Indy 500, Game 1 of the NBA Eastern and Western Conference finals and the first game of the American and National League Championship Series.
Reportedly, the 2015 Hall of Fame Game’s 6.9 overnight rating was the highest rating a preseason game has received in almost three years. It was also a 19 percent increase of the 5.8 rating for the 2014 Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.
Despite the fact that some don’t view the NFL preseason as football worth watching, we cannot deny that when football is on, fans tune in.
And, the television industry and the NFL surely love the boost in revenue that is generated once the preseason gets underway. The topic of whether four preseason games is too many comes up every now and then just as it did with Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, who takes issue with it, but in the end revenue is king.
The bottom line is adjusting the schedule down to say three games would decrease the risk of injury to the players, but would also put a damper into the money all of the vested parties are making. Money will likely prevail in the future especially in light of this preseason success report.
Photo: AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt