NFL Divisional Playoff Ratings Crash by Double-Digits

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs continue to suffer in the ratings with across the board declines through two rounds of games.

Coming on the heels of an overall regular-season ratings crash of seven percent and a series of Wild Card games that were very, very bad, the league’s final games ahead of the Super Bowl are not doing any better.

According to Sports Media Watch, these first two rounds are still losing viewers. All eight NFL playoff games that have direct comparisons to 2019 suffered a decline in viewership.

“Last Sunday’s Buccaneers-Saints NFL Divisional Round game,” SMW reported, “averaged an 18.1 rating and 35.46 million viewers on FOX, down ten percent in ratings and five percent in viewership from Seahawks-Packers last year (20.0, 37.24M).”

The site added that the ratings were the lowest in years for the late Sunday Divisional Round game.

The Browns-Chiefs game was a bit of a mixed bag for the league. The game averaged an 18.3 and 34.33 million on CBS which was down ten percent in ratings and three percent in viewership from Texans-Chiefs last year (20.3, 35.40M). Still, it was up seven percent and 17 percent compared to the Chargers-Patriots game in 2019.

Saturday’s games were no better.

“Shifting to the previous day’s games,” SMW wrote, “NBC averaged a 13.7 (-15 percent) and 26.24 million (-11 percent) for Ravens-Bills (27.1M including streaming) — the NFL’s least-watched primetime Divisional Round game since 2009 (Cardinals-Panthers: 23.78M) and lowest-rated since the league began scheduling primetime playoff games in 2002. Despite the lower numbers, it was still NBC’s top Saturday night show since a 2017 Lions-Seahawks Wild Card game.”

Finally, the Rams-Packers game earned a 14.05 (-15 percent) and 26.50 million (-10 percent) making it the least-watched Saturday afternoon Divisional Round game since 2009 (Ravens-Titans: 25.45M).

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