Update, 1:35 pm: Last night’s Lions-Seahawks Wild Card Playoff on NBC averaged a total audience delivery of 27.1 million viewers across NBC & NBC Sports Digital. NBC’s 26.9M viewers made the showdown the most-watched Saturday night show on any network since January 16, 2016 (Green Bay vs Arizona on NBC). The Lions-Seahawks game peaked at 28.4 million viewers from 9-9:15pm ET, and the game ranks as NBC Sports Digital’s best-ever Wild Card Game with 1M uniques and 34M live streaming minutes.
Earlier Saturday, the NFL Wild Card 27-14 victory of the Houston Texans over the Oakland Raiders on ESPN and ABC delivered a total live audience (TV + Streaming) of 25.6M average viewers, according to Nielsen fast nationals. That makes it the fourth most-watched Saturday afternoon NFL Wild Card game in 16 years.
The game was up from last year’s Wild Card game on ESPN and ABC (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans), which delivered a total live audience of 25.5M average viewers, and was up 14 percent from the 2015 Wild Card game on ESPN (Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers, 22.4M).
On ESPN and ABC, the game delivered 25,341,000 viewers and a 14.6 US household rating, with ESPN’s streaming audience getting an additional average minute audience of 210,000 viewers across the ESPN and ESPN Deportes streams. The game delivered a combined 17.8 television rating in San Francisco (including Oakland and San Jose) and a 31.2 rating in Houston. The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): Norfolk (24.8), Richmond-Petersburg (24.1), Sacramento (22.8), Atlanta (22.2), Kansas City (21.7), Las Vegas (21.1), San Antonio (19.6), Austin and Portland (19.3) and Charlotte (18.9).
Previous, 9:35 am: Last night’s Seattle Seahawks 26-6 victory over the Detroit Lions in the NFC wild card game handed NBC a 16.5/27 rating/share, putting the network atop ABC, CBS and Fox in adults 18-49. The household results from the 56 markets metered by Nielsen Media Research – sans digital data – mark the best Saturday night metered-market rating for any network since the January 16, 2016 Packers-Cardinals battle, which gave NBC a 20.3/34.
The overnight ratings for the game, played in Seattle, peaked at 17.2/28 from 9-9:30pm ET, and top markets were Seattle (46.8/72); Detroit (33.0/49); Portland (30.1/44); Richmond (22.5/31); and Milwaukee (22.0/35).
Rounding out the top 10 local markets: Norfolk (21.6/31); Las Vegas (21.3/34); Denver (20.3/36); Phoenix (19.1/32); and Greensboro (19.0/26).
Nielsen’s fast-affiliate ratings are not time zone-adjusted and are subject to change for live sports coverage.
The game also might have boosted NBC’s encore telecast of Saturday Night Live hosted by Tom Hanks, which aired late (12-1:30 a.m. ET) and averaged a 3.9/11 in households and a 1.8/9 in 18-49. The rerun was the highest-rated SNL encore in four years in metered-market households, with last night’s 3.9 in 18-49 the show’s best since the Louis C.K. episode January 5, 2013 (4.6).