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September 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Football-starved fans returned to their TV sets en masse as NBC launched a new season of NFL telecasts on Thursday with the Denver Broncos/Baltimore Ravens game. Despite a half-hour weather delay and a blow-out 49-27 win by the Broncos over the defending champs, the game attracted 25.1 million viewers making it the third most-watched game to kick off a season, behind only 2010 (27.5 million) and 2011 (27.1 million). The combined number of viewers of the other three broadcast networks amounted to fewer than half the audience for the game alone. On Sunday, the NFL overrun on Fox at 7:00 p.m. counted 21.5 million viewers, while Sunday Night Football (New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys) averaged 23.25 million. (Earlier in the evening, the overrun of the U.S. Open counted 8.75 million viewers.)