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The 2020 NFL Chiefs-Texans opener averaged 19.three million viewers, a 12% lower from final yr

The Houston Texans will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jamie Squire | Getty Images

The numbers are known and the National Football League ratings for Thursday's 2020 kickoff game drew an average of 19.3 million viewers, NBC Sports said on Friday. That is a decrease of 12% compared to the season opener last year.

The network said the game between the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans peaked at 22 million viewers around 9:15 p.m. on Thursday. until 9:30 p.m. east. The Chiefs defeated the Texans [34-20] at Arrowhead Stadium in front of around 17,000 spectators.

According to the network, the game is only the second sporting event since the Super Bowl in February, which recorded at least 20 million viewers. The Academy Awards on February 9 drew 23.6 million viewers.

Despite the over 20 million viewers at its peak, audience ratings were down more than 12% from 2019. The opener between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers last year averaged 22 million viewers and peaked at 23.9 million viewers.

The NFL had a competition the night Covid-19 forced other leagues, including the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, to broadcast playoff games during the opener of the NFL. Other leagues that played games on Thursday included Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and Tennis & # 39; US Open.

The NFL also commented on causes of social injustice that may have contributed to the drop in ratings. The game was opened to players and staff from each team who, after months of social unrest following the murders of blacks by police officers, including the May 25th murder of George Floyd, closed their arms to show unity.

The top five markets for the game outside of the two team cities, according to NBC, were Denver, Austin, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Philadelphia, which used data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

NBC will host a second season opener on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams host the Dallas Cowboys at the new $ 5 billion SoFi stadium.

Disclosure: NBC and NBC Sports are owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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