Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Football Nation celebrates 2010

TV ratings for college and pro football have been defying gravity for years, amazing and delighting media executives.

It appears 2010 will be no exception.

Thursday night's NFL opener between the Vikings and Saints on NBC averaged 17.7 percent of homes in major markets, the highest "overnight" rating for an NFL prime-time game in 13 years.

Three nights earlier, the Virginia Tech-Boise State game on ESPN averaged 9.888 million viewers, the second-highest total ever for a college game on the network.

What about "Hard Knocks?" The premiere showing of the season finale Wednesday averaged just over 1 million viewers, the most since 2002.

Tags: NFL , NBC , ESPN

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