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Broncos-Steelers Was Highest-Rated Sunday Night Game Ever

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Tight end Jacob Tamme #84 of the Denver Broncos stretches the football across the goal line to score a touchdown as safety Ryan Mundy #29 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to make a tackle during the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 31-19.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Tight end Jacob Tamme #84 of the Denver Broncos stretches the football across the goal line to score a touchdown as safety Ryan Mundy #29 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to make a tackle during the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on September 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 31-19. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) – Peyton Manning’s debut as quarterback of the Broncos was a big winner for NBC – its highest-rated game on a Sunday night.

The network announced the ratings Tuesday, two days after Denver defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19.

The game drew a 16.5 national household rating and 26 share. That topped the 15.7/25 ratings of last year’s Cowboys-Giants Week 17 finale. The ratings also tied the 2010 NFL opener of Minnesota-New Orleans as NBC’s highest-rated regular-season game.

The Steelers-Broncos game was seen by more than 27.5 million viewers, second only to the Cowboys-Giants regular-season prime-time game. Sunday night football has been on NBC since 2006.

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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