It seems like NFL postseason ratings have picked up right where NFL regular season ratings left off. Following a season that saw an 8% dip in ratings from the previous year, the opening wild-card weekend of the NFL playoffs also took a hit.
According to Awful Announcing, in order for this year’s wild-card weekend to improve upon last year’s the NFL would have had to hit a 23. 3 rating. That in all likelihood will not happen given the relatively low numbers earned by the Saturday games:
Raiders-Texans: 16.6 overnight (up from 16.2 for Chiefs-Texans)
Lions-Seahawks: 16.5 overnight (down from 19.2 for Bengals-Steelers on CBS)
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) January 8, 2017
The Sunday games provided a mixed bag as well, “CBS had the early window on Sunday and averaged a 19.2 overnight rating which is up 4% from 2015’s Cincinnati-Indianapolis game, the last time the network had a contest in the early Sunday window. But compared to last year when NBC had Seattle-Minnesota in the same window, it’s down from the 22.5 that registered last year.”
Late Sunday featured the most tantalizing matchup of the weekend with the Packers vs. Giants on Fox. That game earned a 24.0 rating, up 2 points from that same spot last year. Yet, not good enough to get the NFL to the 23. 3 rating they needed which means the NFL officially finished the weekend down from last year.
The NFL will likely spin this as the result of injuries to quarterbacks Derek Carr from Oakland and Ryan Tannehill from Miami, making it so that fewer people watched due to teams having backups in the game. While that might be a factor, Awful Announcing reminds us that large sections of the northeast were snowed in over the weekend, resulting in huge numbers of people forced to do nothing but sit and watch TV all weekend. So, the numbers should have done better than what they did.
The NFL should find a better excuse for why people don’t want to watch their games. Something other than blaming the election, like they did during the regular season, because that’s over now.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn