The Alliance of American Football's first two games, broadcast on CBS, drew what should be considered a successful rating for its inaugural event. Between regional action of the San Diego Fleet at the San Antonio Commanders, and the Atlanta Legends at the Orlando Apollos, Nielsen ratings say that both games averaged more than 2.9 million viewers for the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot. You can check out all the highlights from both games in.
By comparison, Sports TV Ratings also tweeted that the NBA on ABC averaged 2.524 million viewers in the same time slot. It's not worth getting up in arms about the exact numbers, or which one did better, because there are a few variables at play here. Chiefly, the AAF is novel while the NBA is in the middle of its lengthy regular season.
in non time zone adjusted Nielsen fast Nationals the AAF game on CBS averaged 2.913 million viewers b/w 9-11p.— SportsTVRatings (@SportsTVRatings) February 10, 2019
Still, an average of nearly 3 million views is a strong start for the AAF, which continues on Sunday, Feb. 10, with a 4 p.m. ET game between the Memphis Express and Birmingham Iron on CBS Sports Network, followed an 8 p.m. game on NFL Network between the Salt Lake Stallions and the Arizona Hotshots.
The question, of course, is whether the interest will continue into Sunday and beyond. The AAF isn't going to touch NFL ratings -- and as CEO Charlie Ebersol said before,-- but if it can maintain eyeballs and interest over the next three months, there will be a lot of momentum for it going into 2020 when it will be joined by the rebooted XFL.