NFL Divisional Games Continue To Draw Solid Ratings
With the NFL Wild Card weekend putting up big numbers for the networks all eyes were on the ratings as well as the scoreboard for last Saturday and Sunday’s divisional round. While all four games were watched by millions upon millions of viewers, year-to-year the quartet slipped a step but still dominated the competition.
Last year the four games averaged 37.8 million viewers, well above the 34.3 million that tuned in during this time in 2014. This year the numbers fell slightly down to an average of 36.2 million, likely due to the scheduling breakdown of some the games and the corresponding match-ups. Regardless, just as with last week’s wild card games, the four contests did build on each other throughout the weekend.
CBS Corporation Class B (NYSE: CBS)'s coverage of the New England Patriots/Kansas City Chiefs game on Saturday afternoon yielded 31.5 million viewers, while a slightly higher 33.7 million viewers tuned into the overtime game on NBC Saturday night between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals.
Despite the Carolina Panthers jumping out to a 31-0 lead at halftime over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, 36.7 million viewers (on average) stuck around to watch 21st Century Fox-A (NASDAQ: FOXA) for what turned out to be a close fight. The big winner though was the follow-up fight between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos that scored 43.3 million viewers for CBS.
This weekend marks the championship round as the Pats and Broncos as well as the Cardinals and Panthers battle for the right to represent their league in Super Bowl 50.
Last year the Patriots blew out the Indianapolis Colts in front of 42 million viewers while the Seahawks edged out the Packers in overtime with nearly 50 million people tuning into the action.
With Tom Brady and Peyton Manning’s latest clash one of the two match-ups this year, it is safe to say the same type of large numbers will be expected. Fox however could also be the beneficiary of an extra boost as the network will follow its game with the premiere episode of the highly anticipated return of The X-Files.
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