NFL Playoffs Ratings: Viewership Skyrockets For ESPN, ABC, Fox Games


The ratings for the first round of National Football League playoff games on ESPN, ABC and Fox are up strongly year-over-year.

The Saturday afternoon NFL Wild Card game – an Indianapolis Colts’ 21-7 victory over the Houston Texans – averaged 22,824,000 viewers across ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen. This is an increase of three percent vs. last year (Titans-Chiefs averaged 22,253,000 viewers). The game rating peaked from 7-7:30 p.m. with 26,424,000 viewers.

Colts-Texans delivered a 38.2 rating (ESPN and ABC) in Indianapolis and a 28.5 rating (ESPN and ABC) in Houston.

The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): New Orleans (23.5), Richmond-Petersburg (22.8), Kansas City (21.7), Norfolk (21.0), Philadelphia (19.3), Austin (18.7), San Diego (17.8), San Antonio (17.7), Nashville (17.3), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (17.0).

Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks/Dallas Cowboys wild card matchup was up 29 percent, with more than 30 million viewers.  It was the most-streamed NFL playoff game ever on Fox Digital, with a 580,445 average minute audience), a whopping 123 percent ore than last year’s Carolina Panthers/New Orleans Saints game.

The Dallas/Seattle game was also the most-watched NFL wild card game in Fox Deportes History, garnering 106,000 viewers.

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