American football’s NFL achieved its highest average viewership since 1988 for the divisional round of its playoffs last weekend, as it nears its showpiece Super Bowl event.

This year's second round of NFL playoffs had an average audience of 40.0 million viewers on TV and digital, spread across the four matches – Houston Texans versus Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers taking on San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs versus Buffalo Bills.

This figure is up 7% compared to 2023, and up 5% versus the previous record in the 2021-22 season, with the total viewership sitting at 126.7 million viewers.

US network Fox Sports’ coverage of the match between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers averaged 37.5 million viewers, the biggest Saturday television audience since the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics on CBS, with the previous high being the 36.9 million viewership for the same matchup in the Divisional Round in 2022.

The 49ers’ 24-21 comeback win peaked at 40.9 million viewers, a 31% increase when compared to the match between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles in the same Saturday night window last year.

Meanwhile, CBS’ primetime match between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills averaged 50.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched Divisional or Wild Card game on record.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.