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NFL wild-card round ratings up 12 percent over last year

January 8, 2019
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Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) watches as he misses a field goal in the final minute during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. The Eagles won 16-15. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The NFL’s strong regular season of TV ratings continued into its opening weekend of the postseason.

The league said on Monday that there was an average of 28.4 million viewers for the four wild-card round games, which is a 12 percent increase over last year.

The Philadelphia Eagles game against the Chicago Bears on NBC averaged 35.89 million, making it the network’s most-watched wild-card game on record. NBC’s previous best was the Jan. 3, 1988, game between Seattle and Houston at 35.86 million. The audience for Sunday’s game peaked at 45.1 million viewers during the final nine minutes.

Sunday’s first game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens on CBS averaged 25.4 million.

Fox’s telecast of Saturday night’s Seattle Seahawks-Dallas Cowboys game averaged 29.5 million while the weekend’s first game between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans averaged 22.8 million on ESPN and ABC.

Digital streaming also increased 139 percent with an average minute audience of 496,000.

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