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This week’s Hard Knocks performs well in Pittsburgh

Antonio Brown's grievance hearing is set for Friday, which may signal an end to his unusual helmet saga.

Schadenfreude sells.

HBO has announced the viewership for the third episode of this year’s Hard Knocks, and one line from the press release resonates most loudly: The ratings for Tuesday night’s show in Pittsburgh outpaced the national average by more than three times. This means that Steelers fans enjoy watching the train wreck that former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown’s time in Oakland at times seems to be on the verge of becoming.

The nationwide viewership for the third episode “was almost identical” to last year’s third episode featuring the Browns, with 776,000 premiere-night viewers.

That still marks a 12.5-percent decline from last week’s audience of 887,000.

These are premiere-night numbers only. Viewership of the first episode, which debuted at 879,000, has grown in the last two weeks to 3.7 million.

Still, the sharp drop suggests that interest has waned through three episodes, even though last night’s edition became the first one in which the Antonio Brown situation received more than cursory, check-the-box treatment.