Eagles-Ravens a ratings winner

Brent Celek and Jason Avant celebrate Celek's first quarter touchdown on Thursday. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

The Eagles-Ravens preseason game, televised locally on 6ABC Thursday night, earned a whopping 18.5 rating, according to The Nielson Company.

Apparently, the 4-1/2 month NFL lockout didn't drive Eagles fans away from football. In fact, more local viewers tuned into the team's preseason opener than in the previous two years, when the numbers were also above average. Last season, the Eagles-Jaguars scored a 12.5 rating for a Friday night game and the year before the Eagles-Patriots Thursday night game drew a 15.7 rating.

The excitement surrounding the Eagles following the team's aggressive free agent signing spree may have had something to do with the uptick in interest.

The first half of the game garnered a rating just below 21, the pre-game show a 10.1 rating and the post-game show a 14.3 rating. The put those numbers in perspective, the Phillies' average rating this season is 9.0.

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program.