NFL’s Sunday Night Football Finally Sees Ratings Bump on Christmas Day

Justin Simmons, Travis Kelce
The Associated Press

After a season of ratings disappointment, the NFL finally had a winner with its Christmas Day matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos.

The Chiefs 33-10 victory netted an 11.2 overnight rating and a 23 share, at least a 10 percent improvement over last year’s Week 16 game, USA Today reported.

The game ended the playoff hopes of the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos and further solidified the Chiefs as a contender, after Kansas City clinched a wild-card slot earlier in the day when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens.

This isn’t the first ratings uptick the NFL experienced though. In the week following the 2016 elections, the league’s Week 11 saw a bump in ratings, the first time ratings looked good since the beginning of the season.

Ratings had fallen so sharply for professional football that the league came under heavy pressure to reassess its advertising rates and to refund millions in advertising dollars already paid into the system.

For decades football was considered immune from the vagaries of those market forces affecting nearly every other corner of the television market. But with the first 10 weeks of football earning such dismal ratings, nervous advertisers began demanding satisfaction from the networks and the NFL both.

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