The NFL opener between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers was the second-highest rated season kickoff game.
The Packers' 42-34 victory drew a 17.2 overnight rating and a 28 share for Thursday night's game on NBC. That also was the second best prime-time rating in 13 years, since a 17.4/27 for a Denver-Miami game in 1998.
Last year's kickoff game between the Vikings and Saints got a 17.7 rating and 27 share.
Overnight ratings measure the 55 largest TV markets, covering nearly 70 percent of the country. Each overnight rating point represents about 735,000 TV homes. The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
NBC is controlled by Comcast Corp.