NBC dominated Saturday night’s ratings with its prime-time broadcast of the NFL wild-card playoff game between bitter rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, averaging a 15.8 rating and a 27 share between 8:15 pm and 11:15 pm ET, according to Nielsen fast-national numbers. The network said the fast nationals typically understate live sports broadcasts.
The game broadcast far exceeded ratings for other networks’ primetime programming in both metered-market households and in the 18-49 demographic in Local People Meter markets. It was the second-most-watched AFC Wild Card game on a Saturday in the past 20 years, behind only a 2011 game between New York’s Jets and Indianapolis that was Peyton Manning’s last game as a Colt. In all, about 28 million people watched Saturday’s game, peaking at 29.5 million viewers between 9 and 9:30 pm ET.
The game, which Baltimore won 30-17 over host Pittsburgh, also boosted ratings for Saturday Night Live, with the best numbers in both metered-market households and Local People Meters in nearly a year for a repeat episode. The SNL episode, featuring Woody Harrelson and Kendrick Lamar, averaged a 3.6 rating and a 10 share, despite being slightly delayed when the game ran late.
SNL’s repeat also ended up being the night’s top non-sports telecast among the broadcast networks in both metered-market households and 18-49 demographic in Local People Meters. That beat all the primetime programming of all the other networks.