NFL Network and NFL.com See Viewer Increase for Pre-Season Opening Night

People love their football, even first week pre-season NFL football.

The NFL Network is reporting that its Around the League: Preseason 2011 program averaged 737,000 viewers as part of its live look-in to the opening night of games Thursday night.  That number is up 767% over programming from a year ago.  It was the highest prime-time viewership of a non-game program for the month of August in the history of the network.

NFL Digital Media, which includes NFL.com, saw a 86% increase in unique viewers online for the first day of the pre-season.  Also, more than twice as many fans have subscribed for the NFL.com PreSeason Live product than those who subscribed for the entire pre-season of 2010.  NFL.com PreSeason Live offers live preseason games with DVR functionality.

Thursday’s tape-delayed telecast of Ravens-Eagles at 11:00 PM ET drew 756,000 viewers — an 84 percent increase over last year’s game in the same time period (Saints-Patriots). The game was also the most-watched late night preseason re-air in the network’s history.

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