Bucs-Saints Draws Massive Number

NFL fans made sure they got one more look at Drew Brees on Sunday. Nearly 36 million viewers tuned in to Fox's Bucs-Saints game, which is reportedly Brees' last.

Fox Sports say the game is the most-watched telecast on any network since the Super Bowl and the highest-viewed NFL game of the season. In other words, even though the Saints lost, the game itself was still a win.

The average viewership of the Wild Card round fell 20% last week, though that was expected. The NFL added two extra games, which hurt game averages. Wild Card weekend's total viewership increased from 2020, 122.81 million to 147.54 million. More importantly, CNN's coverage of the Capitol riot took away from all other broadcasts.

Saints-Bucs did fall short of last season's comparable Packers-Seahawks game, which drew 37 million, per Sports Media Watch's data chart. Full ratings for the Divisional Round will be reported later today.

Looking ahead, the NFL is in good position for Championship Sunday. Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers is the best NFC Championship Game that Fox could ask for (save for maybe the Cowboys). CBS should have Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, but Mahomes' status is still unclear. Should he play, as OutKick's Dr. Chao predicts, expect big numbers there as well.

For now, an NFL playoff game just drew 29 million more viewers than the average 2020 NBA Finals game. Any word from Stephen A. Smith?

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Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.