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As usual, NFL playoffs draw huge TV ratings


The NFL has dominated the American TV landscape for so long that it’s hardly even news anymore when more huge ratings come out, but the ratings from this weekend’s wild card games really were phenomenal.

NBC announced that its wild card Saturday ratings were up 9 percent from last year and the second-best ever under the current playoff format. FOX announced that its Sunday wild card ratings were up 17 percent from last year and FOX’s best ever for a wild card game. CBS announced that its Sunday wild card ratings were up 3 percent from last year and the best for an AFC wild card game in 19 years. The NFL announced that the average of 34.7 million viewers per game made it the most-watched wild card weekend ever.

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said on Boomer & Carton that no other TV programming compares to the NFL.

“More people are watching the NFL on television than anything else in the universe, nothing else comes close,” McManus said. “Normally the top 20 shows of the year are NFL football games. Usually No. 7 or No. 8 might be the Oscars, and other than that every top program in prime time and every top program during the day is an NFL football game. It’s unlike anything else on television. Every year we think we’ve peaked. We had Tim Tebow a couple years ago and we think, ‘Well, my God, that’s going to be a comedown the following year.’ Then some other storyline develops. It’s unlike anything on television.”

The NFL’s ratings continue to rise, with no sign of stopping.

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39 Responses to “As usual, NFL playoffs draw huge TV ratings”
  1. mataug says: Jan 6, 2014 12:45 PM

    Shouldn’t these be normalized as per the viewing population ? e.g. 21.23% of households with TVs watched the wild card weekend games

  2. logicalvoicesays says: Jan 6, 2014 12:49 PM

    Football is boring without RGIII and the Redskins.

  3. joetoronto says: Jan 6, 2014 12:50 PM

    I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before these greedy bastards come at us with PPV.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 6, 2014 12:52 PM

    Well I still don’t get it. I only can see the missed opportunity for even more ratings, so I just see the glass as half-empty. Being complacent while there is still room to fill up the glass just doesn’t impress me.

  5. ctiggs says: Jan 6, 2014 12:54 PM

    The ratings would be even higher, if they lifted the black out rule.

  6. jayniner says: Jan 6, 2014 12:57 PM

    In other words “the NFL is making more money than it ever has”

  7. bucrightoff says: Jan 6, 2014 12:59 PM

    I don’t think it’ll be PPV for game, but I can see games becoming 4 hours in the future for TV purposes. Espcially if we keep seeing issues with sell outs. That money has to be made up somewhere, and more commercials = more to charge TV networks for rights.

  8. raiders85 says: Jan 6, 2014 12:59 PM

    Great weekend of football I hope the NFL isn’t dumb enough to add a playoff spot and water down the product the NFL playoffs are perfect and the one thing they get right you have to be good to make it none of this trash where half the league makes it please

  9. coliv1977 says: Jan 6, 2014 12:59 PM

    I meant about changing the playoffs

  10. richiebburg says: Jan 6, 2014 1:01 PM

    As long as Denver wins this weekend the NFL has a dream scenario for the AFC championship game. Peyton vs Brady or Peyton vs Indy.

  11. citizenstrange says: Jan 6, 2014 1:02 PM

    Still, it only seems right to give even more taxpayer money to billionaires.

  12. justintuckrule says: Jan 6, 2014 1:02 PM

    Amazing considering Goodell and these dumb owners are doing everything in their power to ruin the product. I guess football now joins the category of pizza and sex. Even the worst is better than none.

  13. rubenxx7 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:03 PM

    ok see theres no reason to change playoff format. keep it at 12 teams and division winner gets home game. case closrf!

  14. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 6, 2014 1:13 PM

    Can’t get Tebow out of his mind.

  15. gmsalpha says: Jan 6, 2014 1:13 PM

    Can NBC get a better 2nd string for their broadcasts? I’m not the biggest Cris Colinsworth fan, mostly because of his nasaly voice. But Mike Mayock is awful. I swear I heard him tell me that the Colts were #1 in giveaways during the regular season after every single Colts turnover. And with my eyes closed, he sounds exactly like Mel Kiper Jr to me.

  16. savocabol1 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:22 PM

    I always wonder if these ratings jumps for seemingly every big game is truly due to more viewers or just because there are much more accurate ways to quantify viewers.

  17. jayniner says: Jan 6, 2014 1:26 PM

    I don’t see a problem with adding 1 more team per conference to the playoffs.

    Look at the Chargers, not one expected them to even come close to making the playoffs, but they’re putting up a hell of a fight and are making the playoffs fun to watch.

  18. 4thqtrsaint says: Jan 6, 2014 1:27 PM

    You need to talk to your boys at Hardball talk, who last week had an article about how “football is dying”. Please email this article to them with the heading “IN YOUR FACEBALL BASEBALL”

  19. southpaw0609 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:28 PM

    No, it is because we are TV sheep.

    Its like if the Cubs sell most of their tickets for every game (which they do), why improve?

    Same for the NFL.

  20. dahmergeinteam says: Jan 6, 2014 1:30 PM

    It kept me out of trouble and saved a few hides in Wisconsin, that’s for sure.

  21. wildcatwr36 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:31 PM

    And that Nincompoop Joe Buck will still think its all because of him.

  22. angelogiaquinto18 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:35 PM

    Duck dynasty, housewives, teen mom, pawn stars marathon everyday! Why would anyone want to watch football? To be honest, I don’t know anyone (including women and senior citizens) who don’t watch football. Only wish I couldve bought stock many years ago! But cold weather Super Bowl, dumb!

  23. 1rockyracoon says: Jan 6, 2014 1:46 PM

    Great weekend of football. Looks like the predictions of Goodell ruining football are based on nothing. Those people can go back to yelling at people to get off their lawn.

  24. robf2010 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:49 PM

    The NFL has the goldenest golden goose of all time. They are invincible.

  25. gbmickey says: Jan 6, 2014 2:22 PM

    Win or lose the Pack draws the ratings.

  26. marcuswelby70 says: Jan 6, 2014 2:26 PM

    raiders85 says:
    Jan 6, 2014 12:59 PM
    Great weekend of football I hope the NFL isn’t dumb enough to add a playoff spot and water down the product the NFL playoffs are perfect and the one thing they get right you have to be good to make it none of this trash where half the league makes it please


    Spot on brother!

  27. jvibottomline says: Jan 6, 2014 2:33 PM

    And the seats at stadiums are becoming emptier, huge problem

  28. lionhunter909 says: Jan 6, 2014 2:37 PM

    Well of course NFL football dominates the ratings. When you consider how much garbage there is on TV these days it’s easy to see this. In my house, we’re pulling the plug on Dish Network until September. My kids can survive on Netflix, Hulu, and free over the air TV for the time being.

  29. justintuckrule says: Jan 6, 2014 2:42 PM

    Only a matter of time before a gazillionaire starts his own league and crushes this pantywaist league we watch because there’s no other. McMahon was a little too soon before his time. The NFL is ripe for the pickens.

  30. dbones750 says: Jan 6, 2014 2:47 PM

    Further proof that no one cares about the health (concussions) of individual players. Make ’em sign a waiver saying they can’t sue and let the gladiatorial combat continue!

  31. southpaw0609 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:03 PM

    …I hope the NFL isn’t dumb enough to add a playoff spot and water down the product the NFL playoffs are perfect and the one thing they get right you have to be good to make it none of this trash where half the league makes it please


    Exactly. Look at what it did to the basketball regular season (yawn) when 16 of 30 teams go to the post season

    They might as well call it the NBA except you don’t have to dribble the football.

  32. phillyeaglefan says: Jan 6, 2014 3:06 PM

    Great games this weekend! And it showed that home teams definitely do not have a huge advantage in the playoffs. Three of the four home teams lost.

  33. gmsalpha says: Jan 6, 2014 3:11 PM

    Wait another ten years and the Madden games will be so realistic that the NFL can just broadcast a video game simulation.

    This would entail college athletes being paid and marketed so the game wouldn’t be Manning, Brees, Brady, Newton, Rodgers, etc etc for decades to come.

    It’d also save taxpayers hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars by not being scammed and bilked by owners for new stadiums.

    And just for some added excitement, the Super Bowl could be played with real players at a Hollywood sound stage. Cities around the world (the world!!!) could bid for the setting to be their home stadium, simply created in the computer and added later.

  34. reggiewhitewasoverratedandoverweight says: Jan 6, 2014 3:15 PM

    Great ratings even though 3 of 4 home teams lost.

    Home field means nothing anymore in the playoffs and means very little in the regular season.

    The only thing that kept Green bay from being a 500 team was the tie with Minnesota. I mean, they couldn’t beat Minnesota at the so called historic lamblow field.

    4-3-1 at home, 4-4 on road. And their fans were still saying, “just like 2010” LOL

  35. kev86 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:16 PM

    Were there televisions the last time the Eagles won a title?

  36. jonnyfootball82 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:18 PM

    I’m surprised the ratings were so high without the Vikings in the playoffs

  37. missingsock215 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:25 PM

    I can’t wait for another product to come along and be better than the NFL. I think major league Frisbee is picking up speed. Go Spinners.

  38. imaduffer says: Jan 6, 2014 3:52 PM

    I played golf yesterday and didn’t watch any football. I did I miss anything?

  39. larrydavid7000 says: Jan 6, 2014 9:22 PM

    Not this guy. Did not watch one second of any game this past weekend and will not watch any other up coming games as well.

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