Hall of Fame Game a big kickoff for NFL, NBC

The Dallas Cowboys were very good to NBC.

So were Terrell Owens and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The NFL kicked off the 2010 preseason in style Sunday night with the Hall of Fame Game from Canton, Ohio, and a meaningless game meant a lot when it came to television. According to a tweet from the NFL’s Greg Aiello, the rating on NBC was a 7.6 overnight with a 13 share.

That made the game the best Hall of Fame game for the league in six years, and it represented an increase of 31 percent from 2009 and 41 percent from 2008. We would submit that an extremely popular Hall of Fame weekend – Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice led to huge crowds in Canton (we personally verified that) – also led to a buzz about the game. But the Cowboys and T.O. certainly had a lot to do with it as well.

Take the TV ratings and store it away as yet another reason why the owners and players have to come together on an agreement. There is just too much at stake for both sides to screw this up.

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