It’s a small sample size, but CBS and the brass at the Alliance of American Football have to be happy with their opening weekend. Initial reports gave the first two games Saturday an overnight rating of 2.1. Darren Revel first reported ABC’s Thunder-Rockets matchup had an overnight rating of 2.0 – a number that ESPN later corrected as a 2.1.
Whether or not the AAF drew more viewers than the NBA on Saturday night – you can bet the new football league is just thrilled to be in the conversation. Depending on the region, viewers either watched the Orlando Apollos defeat the Atlanta Legends 40-6 or the San Antonio Commanders sink the San Diego Fleet 15-6. Those broadcasts were the most watched non-NFL pro football game since a 2004 Arena League game on NBC.
The AAF still has plenty of skeptics, as the XFL debuted to huge ratings nearly 20 years ago before plummeting by the season’s end.