The world snickered when an unofficial NFC West playoff game featuring the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks was moved to prime time for the Sunday Night Football finale. NBC isn't laughing at all. In fact, the head honchoes at the network and the NFL have to be pleased with the ratings.
That's right, the Rams scored a ratings win, even if that meant more than 15 million households watched their offense belly flop. Not only did NBC beat the other networks, a given for Sunday Night Football, the 12.6 overnight rating and a 19 share (meaning that 19 percent of households watching TV were tuned in) represented the best mark for prime time football in the season's final week since Minnesota played Baltimore in 2001 for a 13.4 rating and a 21 share.
In St. Louis, the game had a stupendous 38.7 rating and a 53 share, easily the highest rated game for the Rams this season, maybe in a long time. Other top ten markets for SNF included Oklahoma City and Tulsa, who saw a much different Sam Bradford than the one they were used to watching at OU.
The good news is that the Rams maintained, or at least had some before losing 16-6, some credibility for prime time placement. Cynicism aside, it seems like a safe bet that the Rams will be ticketed for prime time again next season. After some much needed personnel additions, their next outing under the bright lights should be a little brighter.