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As usual, NFL playoffs draw huge TV ratings


The NFL has dominated the American TV landscape for so long that it’s hardly even news anymore when more huge ratings come out, but the ratings from this weekend’s wild card games really were phenomenal.

NBC announced that its wild card Saturday ratings were up 9 percent from last year and the second-best ever under the current playoff format. FOX announced that its Sunday wild card ratings were up 17 percent from last year and FOX’s best ever for a wild card game. CBS announced that its Sunday wild card ratings were up 3 percent from last year and the best for an AFC wild card game in 19 years. The NFL announced that the average of 34.7 million viewers per game made it the most-watched wild card weekend ever.

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said on Boomer & Carton that no other TV programming compares to the NFL.

“More people are watching the NFL on television than anything else in the universe, nothing else comes close,” McManus said. “Normally the top 20 shows of the year are NFL football games. Usually No. 7 or No. 8 might be the Oscars, and other than that every top program in prime time and every top program during the day is an NFL football game. It’s unlike anything else on television. Every year we think we’ve peaked. We had Tim Tebow a couple years ago and we think, ‘Well, my God, that’s going to be a comedown the following year.’ Then some other storyline develops. It’s unlike anything on television.”

The NFL’s ratings continue to rise, with no sign of stopping.