The opening spherical of the NFL playoffs drew a barely smaller — although nonetheless big — TV viewers than it did a yr in the past.
The six video games of the wild-card spherical averaged about 28.4 million viewers, a 4 p.c decline from 2022’s opening spherical (29.65 million). Three of the telecasts topped 30 million viewers, led by the 33.21 million for Fox’s Sunday telecast of the New York Giants’ win over the Minnesota Vikings. That contest, nevertheless, was off by about 20 p.c from the identical window final yr, when 41.5 million individuals watched the San Francisco 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys — the most important viewers for a wild-card sport since 2015.
ABC and ESPN’s simulcast of this yr’s Cowboys sport, a 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday evening, drew 31.2 million individuals (together with ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes). It was the second largest viewers for the spherical and the most important gainer of the six features, rising by virtually 36 p.c over final yr. CBS’ early Sunday matchup (Buffalo vs. Miami) had 30.87 million viewers and grew by about 2 p.c over the identical broadcast window a yr in the past.
Fox’s Saturday afternoon sport (San Francisco-Seattle, 27.46 million viewers) was inside 1 p.c of the identical window in 2022, whereas NBC’s two primetime matchups (Jacksonville-L.A. Chargers, 20.61 million, and Cincinnati-Baltimore, 26.87 million) had been down by 22 p.c and seven p.c yr to yr. NBC famous, nevertheless, that its two video games marked the primary time any broadcaster had averaged 20 million viewers on consecutive nights in two years — the final time NBC had Saturday and Sunday evening wild-card video games.
The small decline for the wild-card spherical mirrors that of the common season, the place NFL video games averaged 16.7 million viewers (together with streaming) — a 2 p.c decline that’s attributable largely to the transfer of Thursday Night time Soccer from Fox and the NFL Community to Amazon’s Prime Video.
CBS and Fox’s afternoon home windows and NBC’s Sunday Night time Soccer had been all up a bit. ESPN and ABC’s Monday Night time Soccer fell about 5 p.c, excluding the week 17 matchup between the Buffalo Payments and Cincinnati Bengals that was canceled following the Payments’ Damar Hamlin struggling cardiac arrest on the sector. The viewers to that time suggests it will have been essentially the most watched MNF sport of the season and pulled the season about even with final yr.