It’s 2024 and time for a new thread for the year for television and media ratings (i.e. streaming platforms).
The CFL preseason action is only four months away after perhaps the wrath of an actual winter, which has not yet arrived for the most part in many areas like also here in Philadelphia (15C as the high temperature late at night with heavy rains, akin to a summer storm, all day on 9 January!).
Here is a great report out today on the ratings in the US for the NFL lately.
Does anybody have data for viewership in Canada?
The league averaged 17.9 million viewers per game across all networks for the regular season, up by 7% from a year ago and the NFL’s best figure since 2015.
Amazon:Up 24% to an average of 11.86 million for Thursday Night Football.
CBS: Up 5% to an average of 19.35 million for overall coverage and an average of 24.64 million for late Sunday afternoon games. CBS also had the season’s most-watched game with an average of 41.76 million for the Washington-Dallas game on Thanksgiving.
ESPN: Up 29% to an average of 17.4 million for Monday Night Football.
Fox: Up 2% to an average of 24.62 million for its America’s Game of the Week national broadcasts.
NBC: Up 8% to an average of 21.4 million for Sunday Night Football.
It’s also noteworthy that for games on CBS, ESPN/ABC, and NBC, these numbers do NOT appear to include streaming audiences.
ESPN’s ratings no doubt were boosted by having all but a few Monday Night Football games on ABC, which is where they started moving in December 2022 and should be anyway given the mess at ESPN.
The open question is how much of these record numbers for an event exclusively on streaming in the US, except for those in the Kansas City and South Florida markets, were those amongst the casual fans watching due to Taylor Swift, and how many were routine football fans?
In any case, the NFL does have a model for future stream pay-per-views.
From what I heard from many and observed myself on Pirate Sports Network and some watching the redistributed Peacock feed in Canada, the feed quality left much to be desired.
The quality was not even close to that we have been seeing on Thursday nights via Amazon Prime.
Next up is perhaps Amazon Prime for one of these or perhaps Paramount+, though I don’t think Paramount and CBS are zealous about pushing Paramount+ exclusivity unlike the the media company Comcast, which owns a cable company along with NBC.
That Taylor Swift Effect, Breaking Records Too, Again
The Chiefs’ 27-24 victory had an average audience of 50.393 million, which is an astronomical number. Not only was it the most-watched divisional playoff game in NFL history – it was the first one to top 50 million – but the viewing number also topped the average viewership for every NFC championship game played over the past five years. The viewing number peaked with 56.25 million people watching at one point in the second half.
The win by the Chiefs was the most-watched program on any network since Super Bowl LVII back in February, a game that also involved the Chiefs.
More record ratings numbers, TV plus digital, from the divisional round of the NFL playoffs:
This year’s NFL Divisional Round averaged 40.0 million viewers (TV+Digital) – the highest on record dating back to 1988.
The 40.0 million average viewers for the four games – Houston Texans versus Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers versus San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs versus Buffalo Bills – are up +7% versus last year, and up +5% versus the prior record in 2021-22.
These were the biggest ratings since Championship Sunday in January 2014, when the Broncos (QB Peyton Manning) and the Seahawks (QB Russell Wiilson) went on to the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ, the home of the New York teams.
Sunday was the first time since 2014 that both conference championship games averaged more than 50 million viewers (with the caveat that out-of-home ratings weren’t part of Nielsen’s same-day reporting until 2020).
I also have to wonder for Canada, and for the US, if this Super Bowl generated the youngest average age of viewership in years.
We’ll find out more in a few days this week.
According to a press release from TSN, the game garnered an average television audience of 10 million people in Canada across CTV, TSN, and RDS and reached 19 million unique viewers, almost 50 percent of the Canadian population. The audience peaked at 12.6 million viewers during the halftime show, which was headlined by Usher.
Data from measurement agency Nielsen showed the final audience for Super Bowl LVIII reached an average of 123.7 million, up slightly from fast national estimates of 123.4 million and reconfirming the game’s status as the largest single event in the history of U.S. television.
That aggregate figure represents a 7.4% boost from Super Bowl LVII a year ago, but across multiple segments, women showed even greater levels of growth. Women ages 18–24 watching the game on CBS and Univision posted a 24% jump in year-over-year Super Bowl viewership, while girls ages 12–17 posted a 11% jump, and women overall logged a 9% increase to 58.8 million. Women also comprised 47.5% of the game’s total audience, representing the highest figure ever for the Big Game, beating a comparable 47.1% for Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.
As noted previously, only the moon landing in 1969 had more viewers in the entire history of television in the US!