The Cowboys' 24-17 win over the Giants had 21.81 million viewers on Wednesday night. (Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images)
The NFL season opener on Wednesday had 21.81 million viewers, tops on the night, according to TVbytheNumbers' analysis of Nielsen data. The NFL Kickoff show was second with 14.32 million viewers, followed by Big Brother (6.09 million) on CBS.
The Cowboys' 24-17 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Giants had a 8.7 rating among adults 18-49, down 15% from last year's opener between the Saints and the Packers on Sept. 8.
However, this year's opener faced competition from the Democratic National Convention, which aired from 10 to 11:30 p.m. EST. The featured speaker of the night was Bill Clinton, and the coverage of the convention received 7.48 million viewers split between CBS (3.94 million) and ABC (3.54 million).