NFL Wild Card Baker Mayfield Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a weather-related postponement, the NFL had a Wild Card doubleheader on Monday, and despite the weekday timeslot, viewership was impressive across CBS, ABC, and ESPN.

In the Monday afternoon window, CBS averaged 31.052 million viewers for the Bills’ win over the Steelers. Despite the weekday afternoon start (granted, Monday was a holiday), the game actually had slightly more viewers than last year’s Sunday afternoon Wild Card game on CBS (30.87 million for Dolphins-Bills).

It’s also the most-watched AFC Wild Card game since Patriots-Titans in January 2020, Tom Brady’s final game with New England (31.42 million viewers).

In primetime, the multiple network broadcast of the Bucs’ win over the Eagles averaged 29.18 million viewers on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes. While that’s down from last year, 2023’s Cowboys-Bucs game was a record-high for an NFL Playoff game on a Disney network. This game came in third overall for Playoff games airing on Disney networks since 1996, behind the Cowboys-Bucs game and a Cardinals-Cowboys matchup from 1999 on ABC.

The audience for the ManningCast on ESPN2 was a disappointment given the huge overall viewership for Eagles-Bucs, averaging just 1.02 million viewers. That’s lower than the full-season average of 1.24 million viewers

Each network will get one NFL Divisional game this coming weekend. ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ will air Texans-Ravens at 4:30 pm. ET Saturday, while Fox will air Packers-49ers at 8:15 p.m. ET. On Sunday, NBC (and Peacock) will air Bucs-Lions at 3 p.m. ET and CBS (and Paramount+) will air Chiefs-Bills at 6 p.m. ET.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.