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Peyton Manning's Broncos start drives 'Football' ratings record

September 11, 2012|By Scott Collins
  • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning waves to the home crowd as he leaves the field following a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning waves to the home crowd as he… (David Zalubowski / Associated…)

Peyton Manning may wear a different color jersey, but he's still a star.

Manning's official start as quarterback of the Denver Broncos tied the viewership record for NBC's "Sunday Night Football," with 27.5 million total viewers tuning in for the Broncos' 31-19 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Nielsen.

That's the same figure (after rounding) as last year's Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game that decided the NFC East championship.

In addition, it was the most watched regular-season NFL game in 16 years -- since a Green Bay Packers-Cowboys matchup in 1996 that drew 31.5 million.

Manning, who became one of the NFL's top quarterbacks during his 14 years with the Indianapolis Colts, missed the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury. After the team released him, he signed with Denver in March in a heavily publicized five-year deal worth a reported $96 million.

What do you think of Manning and his new gig?

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-- Scott Collins

twitter.com/@scottcollinsLAT

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