Second episode of Raiders’ 'Hard Knocks' draws slight increase in audience

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The world of television isn’t all that different from sports. Success — or failure — is usually reflected in the statistics.

And so far, HBO has to be pretty pleased with the audience stats being produced by “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Oakland Raiders.”

According to the premium cable network, Tuesday night’s second episode of the series was watched by 887,000 viewers. That’s the highest number for a “Hard Knocks” episode since the 2015 season finale featuring the Houston Texans, which drew 894,000 viewers.

What’s also significant about the Raiders’ number is that it represents a slight increase over the audience for last week’s season opener, which was watched by 879,000 viewers.

Audiences for television shows generally decrease somewhat after a premiere. The fact that the numbers went up is a good sign for HBO, especially since the season opener was panned by many fans who deemed it too slow and boring. Tuesday’s viewership was an 18 percent increase over last summer’s second episode featuring the Cleveland Browns.

So apparently, viewers are enjoying watching coach Jon Gruden blow a gasket every once in a while and/or the offbeat antics of wide receiver Antonio Brown. And the Raiders are proving, once again, that they are a national brand.

Of course, the audience number will rise even a bit more once HBO and Nielsen take into account the stats for delayed viewing.

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