NFL divisional playoff games average 34.3 million viewers


Once again, the NFL has drawn ratings numbers that dwarf everything else on television.

The NFL announced today that the four divisional round playoff games averaged 34.3 million viewers. Chargers-Broncos got 41.2 million viewers Sunday on CBS, 49ers-Panthers got 33.3 million viewers Sunday on FOX, Colts-Patriots got 31.7 million viewers Saturday on CBS and Saints-Seahawks got 31.1 million Saturday on FOX.

Those numbers are actually down from last weekend, when the four wild card games averaged 35 million viewers. Competitive games tend to get fans tuning in as the game goes on, while blowouts tend to get fans turning the game off in the fourth quarter, so it’s not surprising that the closer wild card games attracted more viewers.

But the numbers are up from last year’s divisional round, when the four games averaged 34 million viewers. So at a time when virtually everything on network television is declining in viewership, the NFL’s ratings aren’t going anywhere but up.

15 responses to “NFL divisional playoff games average 34.3 million viewers

  1. Not to detract from the NFL, but, maybe that viewership is also an indication of how bad everything else on tv sucks.

  2. 33 million wanted to see what the best QB of all time perform his majic. The other million wanted to see the GSP of the NFL win another game in the most boring way possible ZzZzZzZzZ. Do I even need to make you guess who I might be talking about? No I didn’t think so.

    Pats = NSA of the NFL

    Brady = GSP of the NFL, always gets it done in the most boring way possible. Might go down as the greatest of all time. To bad no one cares because it was boring as hell to watch.

  3. The Neilssen TV ratings are a joke. I mean a real joke. How many of you know someone with a Neilssen box? Hardly anybody. So how is that an accurate or even close to accurate protrayal of how popular or unpopular a certain TV show is?

    What should have been done is have a chip installed in new TVs from the top 5 TV manufacturers with the big screen TVs & flat screen TVs. That method would be a much, much more accurate portrayal, but the whole 1 person with a box equals 20,000 or so people (I used to be in the Neilssen program) just doesn’t work and I hate how they taut a useless system’s numbers as if it is more than the really horrible gross estimation that it truly is.

  4. Sorry to complain some more but these articles are a little offensive. The implication is that the NFL is run by geniuses and is not accurate or indicative of reality. It’s not appropriate to anoint them like as if they are doing some brilliant job without examining the full picture of everything that is going on with regards to their numbers and the numbers that non-NFL TV programs generate. I just don’t think it’s right to applaud the NFL or pat them on the back because of this one-sided perspective that these are some glorious achievements. Great numbers, but leave it at that, and please try to not be so aggressive about painting the NFL execs in such a bright light.

    The best comparison and analysis comes from looking at these numbers versus what the numbers would have been if the NFL had made worse or better choices. Look at everything they can control and how do these numbers match up to THAT? If this is the best result from all of the stuff they have within their control, then that’s impressive, but not without demonstrating that case!

  5. Please explain to me how putting a chip on a TV when most people have a cable/satellite box hooked up to it would accurately portray, well, anyway other than the fact that the TV is always on channel 3 or 4 and never changes?

  6. Can you imagine what the numbers will look like this weekend?!?!?!? The four “juggernaut” teams going at it. What an awesome weekend coming up. GO HAWKS!!!!

  7. I agree the Nielsen TV ratings are a joke. It’s a total estimate based on a small sample.

    For example, we had some friends over to watch the Broncos/Charges game. Did the ratings reflect that? When we go to a jam-packed sports bar–how do they know that?

    Long ago I was contacted by Nielsen and filled out one of their hard copy journals. Haven’t been contacted since and I don’t know anyone who has…

  8. I just saw a picture of Denver CB Chris Carter with a Ticketmaster logo embroidered on his jersey. Are they sponsors of the NFL or the Broncos? Just curious with the recent ticket restriction issue. I heard Ticketmaster owns Stubhub too. Perhaps they are double dipping on ticket sales. If so, it’s being sanctioned by the NFL, and more reason for viewers to stay home and watch on TV, or, not at all. Unless there is backlash, there won’t be any change. This affects Denver and Seattle fans as well, because it is just driving up prices for non-season ticket holders in their own local markets.

  9. So, Goodell is gleefully rubbing his fingers and saying “Exxxxxcellent”, Monty Burns style when the TV ratings come out, yet he will still complain and blackout games when not enough fans can afford to go to the actual games live.

  10. I believe it. The games sucked this weekend! I’m a die-hard football fan & have watched some pretty crappy games before but I don’t remember another weekend where there was so many bad games in the same weekend.

    P.S. Seattle fans may think their team is the best ever but looking at all the teams left in the playoffs your team is by far the one with the least amount of fans nationwide and it’s not even close.

  11. @coolherc, I would assume that it would be a smart chip. Or we could have the top 5 cable/satellite networks (DirecTv, Time Waner, Dish, etc.) and check who is watching what based upon their records from their boxes (so the chip would be in their boxes instead). I don’t care, but I hate hearing these numbers like it is fact when “It’s a total estimate based on a small sample.” like amolife said.

  12. Ok one reason last weeks numbers were amazingly high…how about 85% of the nation in temperatures that are -5 to 10 degrees and snow everywhere.

  13. This article is very disconcerting. If RG1 reads this, he’s going to tell DeMaurice Smith or Sean Gilbert or Krusty the Clown or whoever is head of the players’ union that these numbers prove that he is right when he wants to have at least one game every day of the week, teams in London, LA and Berlin, a 24-game season and 200% increases in the price of tickets and the DirecTV package…

  14. Nielsen ratings are obsolete and have been for some time.

    You see that little black box near your TV that you point your remote at to change channels….yeah, that’s the one. Cable and Satellite TV providers are able to track everything you watch through that nifty little device.

    The funny part…….we pay them so they can monitor our TV viewing habits.

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