The Seattle Seahawks' 20-point victory over the Green Bay Packers in last night's "NFL Kickoff" on NBC was watched by 26.9 million viewers - up 7 percent from last year's opening-game, and ranking as the third-most watched "NFL Kickoff" game in the 13-year history of the event, according to fast national data released today by The Nielsen Company.
The Super Bowl Champion Seahawks' 36-16 victory, led by QB Russell Wilson (two touchdown passes) and RB Marshawn Lynch (110 rushing yards and two touchdowns), aired from 8:42-11:30 p.m. ET and is television's most-watched show since the Academy Awards (43.7 million viewers on March 2).
Last night's 26.9 million average viewership was up 7 percent over last year's "NFL Kickoff" game (25.1 million for Ravens-Broncos), and ranks as the third-most watched "NFL Kickoff" game, trailing only the 2011 Saints-Packers thriller between the two previous Super Bowl winners (27.1 million), and the 2010 opener (Vikings-Saints, 27.5 million) featuring an NFC Championship Game rematch, as Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings visited the then-defending Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints.
Last night's game had a national household rating of 15.5/26, making it the third-highest rated "NFL Kickoff" game behind 2010 (16.5/28) and 2011 (16.0/26), and up 4 percent from last year's opener (14.9/26). The highest-rated half hour was 9:30-10 p.m. with a 17.1/28.