The football season was ushered in with a roar Thursday night as a special edition of NBC's Sunday Night Football, featuring the Green Bay Packers against the New Orleans Saints drew 24.5 million viewers (peaking in the 9 00 p.m. half hour with 27.6 million) and a 14.4 rating/23 share -- more viewers than those tuning in to ABC, CBS and Fox combined. Nevertheless, The Game fell 3 percent behind last year's opener between the Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. Nevertheless, it was the second best NFL season opener ever, behind only 2010. As expected the game drew its biggest audience in New Orleans, where it scored a 57.7 rating and a 75 share. In Milwaukee, it nabbed a 53.1/71, according to NBC.

09/09/2011