Philadelphia Eagles’ Win Scores Best NFL Wild Card Ratings For NBC Since 1994

Eagles Bears Playoffs
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Looking until the final minutes like it may go into overtime and delay the start of the Golden Globes, last night’s NFL wild card playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears was a solid winner for not just the current Super Bowl champions but also the NFL and NBC.

After a strong performance from Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in an often grinding game, and a failed potential game-winning 43-yard field goal in the final seconds from Bears kicker Cody Parkey that bounced off both the upright and the crossbar, the visitors in the Windy City claimed a 16-15 victory. That victory puts more wind under the Eagles’ wings for a possible Super Bowl return.

It is a win that also saw near-Super Bowl numbers for the league and the Comcast-owned network on a weekend of football ratings wins as the playoffs progress. Going into the first hour of Sunday’s primetime and right up to the start of the Globes, the Eagles-Bears game drew a 22.9/40 metered market result. It marks the best any show on any network of any type has done since Super Bowl LII in February.

In fact, the Eagles-Bears battle had the best wild card overnight rating for NBC since Bill Clinton was President, when the Denver Broncos took on the Los Angeles Raiders on January 9, 1994.

While very likely to change, right now the fast affiliates for the final hour of the game from 7-8 PM ET have the game snaring an 11.2/40 rating among adults 18-49. Overall, viewership for that tense back and forth hour reached an amazing 37.7 million people watching to see which team would move on.

With lead-in numbers like that, and the fact the Andy Samberg- and Sandra Oh-hosted Golden Globes is actually down from last year in metered market ratings, is a huge blow to the awards show. That is reinforced by the fact that the Eagles-Bears game peaked with a massive 27.6/43 in the 7:45-8 PM time period, right before the Globes went live from the Beverly Hilton.

Facing next to no serious competition, the expectation would be that the Globes would see a significant bounce from its programming predecessor as two big teams from major markets faced off. Decline or ever staying flat in this case is a big loss for the Globes coming off those NFL results.

Putting the results of the game in another POV in a season that has seen an uptick in NFL numbers, last evening’s game was up 12% in metered market ratings from the comparable New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game on Fox last year.

We’ll see final numbers for Sunday’s game in the next day or so. For now, check out its Top 10 local markets:

1. Philadelphia – 44.6/66
2. Chicago – 43.1/68
3. New Orleans – 34.5/51
4. Milwaukee – 32.0/49
5. Norfolk – 31.5/48
6. Richmond – 31.0/47
7. Kansas City – 29.1/45
8. Buffalo – 27.9/41
9. Dallas – 26.4/49
10. Minneapolis – 26.1/47

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