Saquon Barkley (L) and Jalen Hurts after the Giants-Eagles Christmas game. Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) after game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s Christmas Day tripleheader this year drew huge numbers for all three networks. CBS announced Tuesday that their 1 p.m. ET game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs averaged 29.2 million viewers across CBS, Nickelodeon, and streaming. Meanwhile, ESPN announced Tuesday that the night game (8:15 p.m. ET) between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers averaged 27.2 million viewers across ABC, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. And Fox announced Wednesday that their afternoon broadcast (4:30 p.m. ET) of the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game averaged 29.0 million viewers:

As Fox notes there, that’s the most-watched broadcast on their network ever on Christmas, and up 29 percent over last year’s comparable window (Denver Broncos-Los Angeles Rams on CBS and Nickelodeon). The slightly-higher CBS numbers were also a network record for a Christmas Day broadcast of any kind and the most-watched Christmas Day game on any network since 1989. And the ABC numbers were the second-most for a Monday Night Football game since 1996.

That all further adds to the NFL push for Christmas Day. That is going to get more challenging next year with the holiday falling on a Wednesday, a day the league has never played on at Christmas. But the ratings here do suggest that Christmas play is great for the NFL when possible . (Of course, with all of these numbers, it’s worth noting that out-of-home viewing (only fully tracked over the past few seasons) is a huge deal for holidays in particular. But these are still big year-over-year jumps over games that were comparable on that front.)

Interestingly enough, none of the Christmas Day games were the NFL’s most-watched of the week, though. That would be Fox’s 31.5 million viewers for the Miami Dolphins’ win over the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve. That was the network’s most-watched non-Thanksgiving regular-season game since 1995.

Thus, Christmas Eve remains a major draw for the league as well. And it will be worth watching how they approach Christmas Eve and Christmas Day going forward. The ratings this year certainly suggest games on those days can be big hits for the NFL, but we’ll see how much schedule-tweaking they’re willing to do to accomplish that.

[Fox Sports PR on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.