Wild-card ratings up 10 percent over last year

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The wild-card round brought a quartet of compelling games, and to no surprise folks tuned in.

Via Sports Business Journal, the four games on ESPN/ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC generated a 10-percent uptick in ratings in comparison to last year’s wild-card games.

The Eagles-Bears game on NBC delivered the highest number, a 22.9 rating. That exceeded late Sunday afternoon game from a year ago (Saints-Panthers on FOX) by 12 percent. For NBC, it was the highest wild-card rating since Raiders-Broncos in 1994.

On Saturday night, the Seahawks-Cowboys game on FOX attracted 29.4 million viewers, the highest for that window in three years. Earlier in the day, the ESPN/ABC Colts-Texans simulcast increased to 22.8 million visitors from 22.2 million from Titans-Chiefs in 2017.

The numbers were strong but not eye-popping, possibly because the games didn’t entail significant scoring. The best game of the four resulted in only 31 points on the scoreboard, 20 few than the losing team scored in the best game of the regular season.

This weekend likely will have even bigger numbers, especially with three of the best offenses in the NFL playing for the first time this postseason.

35 responses to “Wild-card ratings up 10 percent over last year

  1. Impossible. Everyone stopped watching because a handful of the players didn’t hold the same political beliefs as some of the fans, right?

  2. Games were excellent, other than the Colts/Texans which wasn’t as competitive.

    Just want to say that the refs are doing a great job overcalling things. I am often quick to criticize the NFL when there are too many flags and commercials. I feel like they have improved in these areas compared to the last few seasons. Going into this season I thought it was going to be a flag-fest-nightmare every game.

    Good job, NFL. Keep advising refs to limit their flags.

  3. Did anyone else see Nick Foles pull out his enormous junk on the sideline and started helicoptering to create the wind that made the kicker miss? wow that was wild

  4. Call on the Cowboys to boost ratings. It’s simple. You may not like us, but you need us that’s for sure

  5. On Saturday night, the Seahawks-Cowboys game on FOX attracted 29.4 million viewers, the highest for that window in three years.

    Proof right there. America’s team will ALWAYS BE the Dallas Cowboys. Deal with it

  6. No mention of the Chargers-Ravens. Why?…..Because the LA Chargers have few fans. Despite an excellent season they’re an after thought in LA as the Rams own the city. Significantly, there are simply too many other pro sport options in LA for sports fans to spend their money on. Sad.

  7. What is this juvenile obsession with points scored? Defense is part of the game too. Otherwise, let’s just play offense with some cones out there.

  8. It was no great feat to win the NFC East this year or to beat Brian Schottenheimer (or any Schottenheimer for that matter) in a playoff game. NFL Nation will rejoice after the Cowboys get trounced by the Rams on Sunday. The bragging will stop, replaced by whining about Garrett. Candidly, the Cowboys laid claim to being America’s team back when Farrah Fawcett was in her prime — and that was an awfully long time ago.

  9. tvguy22 says:
    January 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm
    What is this juvenile obsession with points scored? Defense is part of the game too. Otherwise, let’s just play offense with some cones out there.

    ————————

    Because points mean action, but yes there has to be a balance. For instance, I love seeing a good defense too, but I also don’t want to watch a game for 3.5 hours to end on a score of 7-3. If I wanted to watch a sport where they play for hours and barely score I’d watch soccer (sorry soccer fans).

  10. “The Eagles-Bears game on NBC delivered the highest number, a 22.9 rating.”

    Later in the article…
    “…the Seahawks-Cowboys game on FOX attracted 29.4 million viewers.”

    Too proud/bias to say, the Cowboys HOME PLAYOFF *WIN* on SATURDAY was the ratings champion of the weekend.

    Bold prediction (satire) The Cowboys game this Saturday will also be the ratings winner of next weekend.

  11. jurgyisgod says:
    January 7, 2019 at 1:54 pm
    It was no great feat to win the NFC East this year or to beat Brian Schottenheimer (or any Schottenheimer for that matter) in a playoff game. NFL Nation will rejoice after the Cowboys get trounced by the Rams on Sunday. The bragging will stop, replaced by whining about Garrett. Candidly, the Cowboys laid claim to being America’s team back when Farrah Fawcett was in her prime — and that was an awfully long time ago.
    ——————————————

    Actually NFL Films gave them that moniker, but thanks for playing.

  12. Just wait from the numbers report, as The Greatest Franchise in Sporting History takes the stage Sunday.

  13. A 22.9 rating means 22.9% of the TV population was watching that game, which is a significantly higher number than the 29.4 Million that tuned in for the Cowboys game.

    I know math is hard, reading is too.

  14. Saturday’s Seahawks-Cowboys NFC Wild Card Game earned a 15.9 rating and 29.4 million viewers on FOX, per Nielsen

  15. It was a self-inflicted wound when the Networks made a mountain out of the anthem protest mole hill. When the Networks did the smart thing and stopped covering the protests, people returned to watching the game instead of arguing about the protests.

  16. redlikethepig says:
    January 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Impossible. Everyone stopped watching because a handful of the players didn’t hold the same political beliefs as some of the fans, right?

    _______________________________________________________________

    If you’ve been paying attention, you would already know in a heartbeat that ratings are slightly better now because the NFL is no longer televising the players kneeling during the national anthem for each game like they did back in 2016 and 2017. When I go to the NFL’s main site or even this one with ProFootballTalk, I don’t see multiple articles covering any news on these players’ politics. Having said all of this, the ratings were still a lot better back in 2015 when there were still Brady vs. Manning games.

  17. Funny how everyone crapped on the NFC East all season long as the worst division in football, However 2 teams from the east are still standing.

  18. Guy Hence says:
    January 7, 2019 at 1:28 pm
    No mention of the Chargers-Ravens. Why?…..Because the LA Chargers have few fans. Despite an excellent season they’re an after thought in LA as the Rams own the city. Significantly, there are simply too many other pro sport options in LA for sports fans to spend their money on. Sad.
    ================
    awwww… still bitter after losing?

  19. dcpatfan says:
    January 7, 2019 at 2:15 pm
    Just wait from the numbers report, as The Greatest Franchise in Sporting History takes the stage Sunday.
    =======================
    yes, they will all tune in to watch the LAC finally put an end to the NE dynasty.
    btw it sure must be nice to play in the weakest div in the league year after year!

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