Dallas-Green Bay NFL Playoff Nearly Sets TV Viewing Record
According to Nielsen and other TV ratings sources, the only bigger audience to watch an NFL game in the last year and a half was for Super Bowl 50.
The thrilling 34-31 Green Bay victory was watched by an average of 48.3 million fans, with a peak audience of 62 million after Dallas tied the game at 28 in the fourth quarter. The national average share, meaning the percentage of TV's tuned to that broadcast, was 28.3, over a quarter of every TV in the nation watching. (numbers based upon the 18-49 age demographic).
The share, or percentage, can be high even if the actual viewer numbers are lower. Has to do with number of available 'prime time' or mainstream shows on TV at that time.
The Steelers vs. Kansas City matchup was pretty big too, with a 21.9 share and an estimated 39 million viewing audience. The NFL has to be happy, as viewer numbers for the playoffs have climbed from the regular season. The Patriots vs. Houston game had a 28 share with 26 million viewers, while the Seattle-Atlanta match up had an 18.3 share, and 23 million viewers.
For the previous Wild Card weekend, the Green Bay-New York game drew 39 million viewers, and a 21.9 share, the Miami--Pittsburgh game drew 29 million and a 17.5 share.
However, the Lions vs. Seahawks Wild Card game had the lowest viewership of a wild card weekend game since 2006, with a 14.8 share and an estimated 21 million viewers. Many TV analysts say 'smaller market' teams don't do as well on national TV.