According to the overnight numbers, both NBC and FOX had a solid divisional round Saturday.

Those are good numbers for both networks, given the timeslots. FOX obviously benefited from the Cowboys in primetime visiting a major market, and also benefited from a closer contest overall. NBC in turn benefited from the Colts and Chiefs each having a dedicated fanbase that was likely snowed in all Saturday.

For some context, those numbers are on the high side for recent years, as noted by Sports Media Watch:

The 20.5 is the highest for the Saturday night Divisional Round game in seven years (2012 Broncos-Patriots: 20.6), and the second-highest since the window debuted in 2002. Regardless of round, it ranks as the top Saturday night NFL game since the 2014 Wild Card round (Saints-Eagles: 20.5).

Regardless of timeslot, it is the highest for any Saturday Divisional Round game in four years (2015 Ravens-Patriots: 20.9).

Shifting to the AFC, Colts-Chiefs scored a 19.0 overnight on NBC Saturday afternoon — up 9% from last year (Falcons-Eagles: 17.4) and up 4% from 2017 on FOX (Seahawks-Falcons: 18.3). The 19.0 is the highest in the early Saturday Divisional Round window since 2016 (Chiefs-Patriots: 19.7).

It continues a ratings rebound for the NFL, and we haven’t even really seen many close playoff games, Bears loss aside. We’ll have to wait to see how Sunday shakes out for a final review, but the early returns have been positive, from the league’s perspective.

[Sports Media Watch]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.