The NFL’s divisional playoff games delivered massive audiences over the weekend, as expected. But USA Today reports that in some cases the viewership didn’t come up to the levels of last year’s playoffs.
In two time slots, ratings were down, the story reports. “The New England Patriots’ 41-28 win against the Houston Texans in Sunday’s late time slot wasn’t exactly suspenseful,” the report notes. “It drew a 23.8 overnight, which translates to 23.8% of TV households in the 56 urban markets measured for overnights. That’s down 13% from comparable coverage of a New York Giants-Green Bay Packers game in the time slot last year.”
The piece notes, however, that the Giants-Packers game a year ago was the NFL’s highest-rated divisional playoff game since 1997.
Fox scored with its early Sunday game. The story reports: “The Atlanta Falcons seemed on their way to blowing out the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of their playoff game Sunday. But the Seahawks’ comeback before the Falcons won in a tight finish drove the game to a 21.3 overnight — up 3% from comparable coverage of a Baltimore Ravens-Texans game last year.”
Fox also had reason to cheer its Saturday results. Fox pulled in an 18.7 overnight rating for the prime-time game in which the San Francisco 49ers beat the Packers — Fox’s best Saturday prime-time divisional playoff number since it began televising NFL action in 1994.
Still, that number represented a 9% decline for the time slot from last year, when the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos squared off in a highly anticipated showdown between quarterbacks Tom Brady of New England and Tim Tebow of Denver.