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NFL divisional round games average 36.2 million viewers

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 17:  C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL established its typically lofty television ratings for the four divisional round playoff games over the weekend.

According to the numbers released by the NFL today, the four NFL divisional round games averaged 36.2 million viewers. The top game of the weekend, Broncos-Steelers on CBS, averaged 43.0 million viewers. The other Sunday game, Panthers-Seahawks, averaged 36.7 million viewers on FOX. Saturday games typically get lower ratings than Sunday games, and that was the case again this year with Patriots-Chiefs averaging 31.5 million viewers on CBS and Cardinals-Packers averaging 33.7 million viewers on NBC.

Those viewership levels are in line with what the NFL has generally come to expect for divisional round playoff games. Last year, the four divisional round games averaged 37.8 million viewers. In 2014, the four divisional round games averaged 34.3 million viewers.

The AFC and NFC Championship Games will likely see even higher ratings on Sunday. Broncos-Patriots, as the expected final chapter of Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, is virtually guaranteed to be the most-watched game of the year other than the Super Bowl, and easily top the 42.1 million viewers from last year’s AFC Championship Game. The Panthers-Cardinals matchup, however, may struggle to reach the 49.8 million viewers that last year’s NFC Championship Game drew for a classic overtime battle between the Seahawks and Packers. The two conference championships together will probably average more than 45 million viewers, and 50 million viewers is possible. America just keeps watching the NFL.

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24 Responses to “NFL divisional round games average 36.2 million viewers”
  1. Yoda says: Jan 19, 2016 11:43 AM

    When CBS put Goodell’s stupid face on the screen, did anyone think that the Steelers would win the game? I know I didn’t, and I don’t know a single person who thought the Steelers had a chance at that point. Maybe a coincidence, but I doubt it

  2. mataug says: Jan 19, 2016 11:47 AM

    what a brilliant drug

    they keep watering it down though

  3. stealthjunk says: Jan 19, 2016 11:49 AM

    Yes, Yoda, it was all a big conspiracy. The Steelers really would have won that game had Goodell not called down at halftime. Congrats on your make-believe victory in conspiracy land.

  4. 12coltsfan12 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:55 AM

    but the colts already have their AFC SOUTH FINALIST banner ready to raise suckers!!

  5. nyjfan111 says: Jan 19, 2016 11:57 AM

    I promise you, I am no Patriots fan. But no other team has shown anything to make me believe that they will be beaten again this year. I predict January 24th to be Peyton’s final career game.

  6. muddergoose74 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:00 PM

    The playoffs started already?

  7. abninf says: Jan 19, 2016 12:09 PM

    Imagine of the Dallas Cowboys were playing. It would be double the number of viewers. I mean, let’s face it, that’s who everyone wants to see.

  8. coltsreign says: Jan 19, 2016 12:10 PM

    I agree with yoda”s comment, seeing Goodell at the Steelers-Broncos game made that game feel rigged.
    But the Packers-Cardinals game really was one for the ages.

  9. factman66 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:11 PM

    I’m not sure if it being on Saturday mattered. A lot of people are so disgusted by the Patriots that they change the channel when they’re on TV. I do.

  10. richiethegreek says: Jan 19, 2016 12:17 PM

    The more incompetent the league office gets, the higher the ratings go. Good to these guys are suffering for being terrible at their jobs. Hey, I guess I could stop watching, right?….Nah.

  11. patsfiend says: Jan 19, 2016 12:26 PM

    factman66 says:
    Jan 19, 2016 12:11 PM
    I’m not sure if it being on Saturday mattered. A lot of people are so disgusted by the Patriots that they change the channel when they’re on TV. I do.
    __________

    The truth is that you maniacally seek out not only every Pats broadcast but even articles that marginally include them, such as this one, because Bill and Tom are playing lawn jarts in that space they occupy in your head day and night.

    The other truth is that no true football fan will want to miss what could be the last match-up of two sure fire first ballot hall of fame QBs on Sunday.

  12. Wisconsin's Favorite Son Jeffrey Be Dahmed says: Jan 19, 2016 12:29 PM

    A lot of people saw us choke. Again. Huge. Big. Audience. Choke. Many. Viewers. Gagged.

    And then Green Bay went silent. And for the bottle.

  13. ad28bestever says: Jan 19, 2016 12:33 PM

    A lot of people just wanted to see GB and Seattle lose. Wish was granted in glorious style.

  14. willycents says: Jan 19, 2016 12:33 PM

    @ yoda:
    So, will you think the same thing when they show his face this weekend at your beloved Pats game with Denver? Will you just turn it off because you know the Pats are going to lose? I doubt it.
    A couple things on the game:
    first, after beating Denver a couple weeks ago, few figured the Steelers would win.
    second, with Ben’s possible injury, few thought they could win.
    third, Most Pats fans were rooting for the Steelers to win so they did not have to face Manning and Denver IN DENVER again.

    No conspiracy at all.

  15. contra74 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:43 PM

    36.2 million people watched the Packers whine about a coin toss instead of winning the game.

    36.2 million.

  16. jayaredee says: Jan 19, 2016 1:03 PM

    Can anybody let me know why the game on the West Coast will be the first game this Sunday? Unless it Flip Flops every year this makes no sense to me.

  17. ocd2828 says: Jan 19, 2016 1:14 PM

    jayaredee says:
    Jan 19, 2016 1:03 PM

    Can anybody let me know why the game on the West Coast will be the first game this Sunday? Unless it Flip Flops every year this makes no sense to me.

    It flip flops every year

  18. farmboss17 says: Jan 19, 2016 1:17 PM

    I recorded and watch all 4 games. The best moment of them all for me was watching that little girl’s expression when she was handed the football after the Panthers scored a TD. Those 5 seconds could make any highlight reel. Kinda puts things in perspective.

  19. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 19, 2016 1:20 PM

    I’m glad the biggest audience got to see what a fraud the Steelers are. They never should have been in the playoffs in the first place. And certainly, they were gifted the Cincinnati game by the refs. Keep in mind, they were swept by the 5-11 Ravens. LOL.

  20. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jan 19, 2016 1:26 PM

    We already knew this. Captain humility Greg Aiello got on the Twitter and bragged about it

  21. ebdug says: Jan 19, 2016 1:28 PM

    So your saying the viewership for the Divisionals dropped from 37.8 to 36.2.

  22. deltaoracle says: Jan 19, 2016 1:38 PM

    Meanwhile tens of thousands of Viking fans watched the tip-up outside of their ice shanty while saying “Our next off season World Championship begins in just weeks!”

  23. phx1sjc says: Jan 19, 2016 4:22 PM

    I recorded and watch all 4 games. The best moment of them all for me was watching that little girl’s expression when she was handed the football after the Panthers scored a TD. Those 5 seconds could make any highlight reel. Kinda puts things in perspective.

    ******************************
    I actually rewinded that and watched it twice. Awesome!

  24. raideralex99 says: Jan 19, 2016 5:57 PM

    There would have been more viewers except the NFL scheduled the only west coast team to play the ONLY 10 am game … the earliest game of the 4 …. can you say fixed.

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