The National Football League just can't catch a break, as ratings continue to sag despite a hail Mary attempt to woo an entirely new demographic, children, by broadcasting their postseason games on both CBS and kid-friendly Nickelodeon.
Yet, Saturday's game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints drew just 30.6 million people, while Saturday's matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills drew just 20.1 million viewers - down from the 31.42 million fans who tuned into CBS's wild-card game broadcast last year, according to Bloomberg. This year the wild-card round was expanded to six games vs. four last year.
Saturday’s contest pitting the Los Angeles Rams against the Seattle Seahawks drew 23.9 million viewers on Fox Corp.’s flagship network, down roughly 20% compared with about 30 million viewers for Fox’s game a year ago. A Fox spokesman said a better comparison would be to last year’s game in the same time slot, which aired on ABC and ESPN.
On Comcast Corp.’s NBC, 21.4 million viewers watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play Washington on Saturday and 24.8 million watched the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, both down from the 35.1 million who watched NBC’s wild-card game last year.
About 24.8 million tuned in Sunday to watch the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and Freeform. That was down 6% from 26.3 million on ABC and ESPN last year. -Bloomberg
Meanwhile, regular season viewership averaged 15.4 million TV viewers, a drop of 7% vs. last year according to Nielsen - the league's first decline in three years.
NBC also attempted to reach viewers on Sunday via their Peacock streaming service.