NBC Averages WILD CARD SATURDAY Record in Viewers
Last weekend's historic NBC "Wild Card Saturday" was the most-watched Wild Card Saturday ever, averaging 30.8 million viewers - up 14% from last year's 26.9 million average, according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company. NBC Sports Live Extra's streaming of the two Wild Card games also delivered record consumption.
Saturday's slate featured two playoff games decided by two points or less on the same day for the first time in NFL postseason HISTORY as the Indianapolis Colts overcame a 28-point deficit to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 and the New Orleans Saints scored the game-winning points on a field goal as time expired to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24. The NFL instituted Wild Card Saturday for the 1990 season when it expanded the playoffs from five to six teams per conference.
The Saints' first road playoff victory in franchise HISTORY was the most-watched Wild Card Saturday game in NFL history, averaging 34.4 million viewers. The 34.4 million viewership is up 14% from last year's Primetime Wild Card matchup (30.3 million for Green Bay's 24-10 win over Minnesota).
Saints-Eagles (8:15-11:23 p.m. ET) earned a 19.1 rating/31 share - up 10 percent from last season (17.3/28). Viewership peaked at 36.6 million for the game's final minutes from 11-11:23 p.m. ET.
The Colts' come-from-behind victory, highlighted by Andrew Luck's 443 passing yards and four touchdown throws, averaged 27.6 million viewers - up 17% from last year (23.6 million viewers for Houston's 19-13 win over Cincinnati). Chiefs-Colts ranks as the second most-watched early Saturday Wild Card game ever behind NBC's telecast of Seattle's 41-36 win over New Orleans on January 8, 2011 (28.3 million viewers).
The AFC Wild Card telecast (4:35-8:07 p.m. ET) earned a 16.0 rating/30 share - up 11 percent from last season (14.4/28). Viewership peaked at 38.1 million from 8-8:07 p.m. ET.
Wild Card Saturday delivered the best day in NBCSports.com HISTORY excluding Super Bowl with a record 33.9 million minutes of consumption - an increase of 122% increase from last season - through NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group's live streaming product. In addition, Wild Card Saturday on NBC Sports Live Extra averaged a record 53.2 minutes per visit, up 27% from 2013.
NBC concludes its postseason run with the telecast of the 2014 Pro Bowl from Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday, January 26 at 7 p.m. ET. The 2014 Pro Bowl features the all-star game's first-ever "unconferenced" format, highlighted by teams drafted by Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders in place of the prior AFC vs. NFC matchup.
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