A compelling story from any perspective, Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis-this time in a Denver Broncos uniform-led NBC to monster ratings for its "Sunday Night Football" broadcast.
The game, which ended 39-33 in favor of the Indianapolis Colts, now led by Andrew luck, drew a 17.3 overnight metered market rating from 8:30-12:15.
According to NBC, that 17.3 is the best primetime rating for an October game since the October 5, 1998 game between the Vikings and Packers. It also represents the fourth best rating for a regular season game on NBC; only last year's NFC East clincher between the Redskins and Cowboys, Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos debut last September and the 2010 kickoff game between the Saints and Vikings drew better.
Sunday's matchup enjoyed a 48% increase from last week's Steelers vs. Bengals game.
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