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Most-Watched Early Sunday NFL Wild Card Game on Record

A Mammoth 35.3 Million Viewers

The Seattle Seahawks’ 10-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday’s NFL Wild Card game on NBC ranked as the most-watched early Sunday Wild Card game on record, with 35.3 million viewers. Comparably, this is up by 25 percent from last year’s early Sunday Wild Card game (28.3 million for Bengals-Colts on CBS), and 27 percent above the last early Sunday NFC Wild Card game (27.7 million for Falcons-Giants, Jan. 8, 2012 on Fox). Viewership peaked at 43.9 million viewers for the game’s finish from 3:45-4 p.m. ET.
In households, the Seahawks-Vikings NFC Wild Card telecast (1:06-4:06 p.m. ET) earned a 21.0 rating/42 share, to rank as the highest-rated early Sunday Wild Card game in 21 years (22.0/48 for Patriots-Browns on NBC, 1/1/95). Comparably, this rating is up 24 percent from last year’s early Sunday Wild Card (17.0/35 for Bengals-Colts).

“NBC Sports Live Extra’s” presentation of the game totaled 20.0 million live streaming minutes, ranking as Live Extra’s most streamed NFL postseason game on record (excluding any Super Bowls), and up by 115 percent from last year’s NBC Saturday primetime Wild Card game (9.3 million live minutes for Ravens-Steelers).

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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    Late-Night Results for Week 15:

    · “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” have dominated the late-night ratings week of Dec. 28-Jan. 1, leading their ABC and CBS time-period competition for the week in every key measure – adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.

    · Note that during the holiday week, all NBC Friday programming and Thursday and Friday telecasts on ABC and CBS were preempted or excluded due to the New Year’s holiday. All regular late-night programming on those networks was in rebroadcast except for ABC’s “Nightline.”

    · For the week, Fallon’s encores doubled CBS’s rebroadcasts of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in adult 18-49 rating (0.84 vs. 0.42) and topped ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” encores by a +79% margin (0.84 vs. 0.47). At 12:35 a.m. ET, Meyers’ rebroadcasts topped CBS’s encores of “Late Late Show with James Corden” by a +48% margin in 18-49 (0.40 vs. 0.27).

    WEEK 15

    Show…18-49…total viewers

    11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.
    Tonight (R)*…0.84/4…2.930 million
    Late Sh (R)*…0.42/2…2.055 million
    Kimmel (R)*…0.47/2…2.004 million

    12:35-1:05 a.m.
    Nightline*…0.34/2…1.406 million

    12:35-1:35 a.m.
    Seth Meyers (R)*…0.40/2…1.405 million
    Late Late Show (R)*…0.27/2…1.065 million

    1:35 a.m.-2:05 a.m.
    Carson Daly (R)*…0.24/2…0.809 million

    * NBC’s Friday telecasts and all other regular Thursday and Friday late-night programs were preempted or excluded due to the New Year’s holiday.


    11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m.
    Tonight…1.10/5…3.902 million
    Late Sh…0.73/4…3.030 million
    Kimmel…0.59/3…2.483 million

    12:35-1:05 a.m.
    Nightline…0.38/2…1.588 million

    12:35-1:35 a.m.
    Seth Meyers…0.50/3…1.648 million
    Late Late Show…0.34/2…1.251 million

    1:35 a.m.-2:05 a.m.
    Carson Daly…0.30/3…0.915 million

    Ratings reflect “live plus same day” data from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of “live plus seven day” data except for the two most recent weeks, which are “live plus same day.”