The Alliance of American Football debuted on CBS to solid ratings, according to the overnight numbers released on Monday.
According to sports business reporter Darren Rovell, the new football league’s debut game earned a tick higher at 2.1 than the NBA’s Houston Rockets vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder game did with its 2.0 rating.
Sources: In its debut night last night, @theaaf beat the NBA on ABC in head-to-head overnight ratings:
AAF Games (2 games, 1 per market): 2.1
Houston-OKC game: 2.0
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 10, 2019
Granted the NBA is insisting that the Rockets and Thunder game also earned a 2.1, not the 2.0 Rovell reported, but that is not such a difference that throws any shade on the new AAF, certainly.
For media – some inaccurate ratings reports/comparisons this a.m. – the NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC broadcast last night generated a 2.1 metered market rating. It peaked w/ a 3.2 rating from 11-11:15pm ET. The NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series is up four % from last season. pic.twitter.com/V4neuoMVCv
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) February 10, 2019
As Sports Media Watch pointed out, the AAF debut was fairly amazing:
The debut of the AAF delivered a 2.1 overnight rating on CBS Saturday night, the highest for a non-NFL pro football game since a 2004 Arena Football League telecast on NBC (2.5). CBS aired regional coverage of San Diego-San Antonio and Atlanta-Orlando.
The AAF earned the same overnight rating as ABC’s competing Thunder-Rockets NBA regular season game. It came to within two tenths of the Duke-Virginia men’s college basketball game on ESPN earlier in the night (2.3).
But according to Awful Announcing, there was one oddity for the AAF’s debut. The new league’s pre-game show did better than the game.
With the rest of its season ahead, the AAF will see its games scattered across several venues. The AAF has secured deals to broadcast the rest of its games for this debut season on a host of platforms including TNT, the NFL Network, CBSSN, and B/R Live.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.