NFL Wild Card Weekend Viewership Logs Four-Year Ratings High

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The weekend’s Wild Card playoff games drew solid ratings for the NFL. Viewership for Saturday and Sunday averaged 30.5 million viewers across four games, up 7% from the 2019 Wild Card average of 28.6 million viewers. It is the most-watched Wild Card round average since 2016.

Sunday’s Vikings-Saints game, in which a Kyle Rudolph touchdown gave Minnesota a 26-20 upset win over the NFC’s No. 3 seed New Orleans Saints in overtime, drew 30.8M viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes and streaming platforms. It ranks as Fox’s most-watched telecast of any kind since the 2019 NFC Championship Game, up 17% from last year’s comparable Wild Card window, and up 2% over last year’s Seahawks-Cowboys matchup on Fox. The Vikings-Saints face-off also was the most-streamed NFL playoff game ever, according to Fox.

Seattle’s 17-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s game is TV’s most-watched show since Super Bowl LIII (Feburary 3, 2019), with a Total Audience Delivery of 35.8 million viewers across TV and digital, according to Nielsen fast national Live + Same Day, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. The game also was the most-watched NFL Wild Card game featuring a West Coast team in six years, since the 49ers-Packers face-off on January 5, 2014.

The game averaged 35.1 million TV-only viewers on NBC, peaking at 38.5 million for the final minutes from 7:30-7:40 PM ET just ahead of the Golden Globes. Sunday’s game, which ran from 4:41-7:40 PM ET), registered a national TV household rating of 19.2/39.

NBC Sports Digital saw its best-ever NFL viewership (excluding Super Bowls) for the game with an Average Minute Audience of 702,000 viewers streaming across, the NBC Sports app, and NFL Digital platforms – up 32% from last year’s Wild Card game (533,000).

Saturday’s Bills-Texans Wild Card matchup was the most-viewed ever on ESPN and ABC, averaging 26.4 million viewers across ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen.

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