The quirky Nickelodeon broadcast of the Saints-Bears NFL matchup drew 2.061 million viewers on Sunday. CBS’s simulcast of the matchup averaged just under 29 million viewers. Overall, the Saints’ 21-9 win topped all of Super Wild Card Weekend.
In the same window last season, Seahawks-Eagles drew 35.1 million on NBC. Though a decline, the NFL shouldn’t see this as a loss.
Due to the unprecedented number of viewers who chose cable news, this past weekend’s year-over-year ratings tell only part of the story. The aftermath of the storming of the Capitol Building kept viewers on CNN throughout the weekend. Saturday, CNN held steady at a massive 2 million for the day. The final numbers for Sunday are not yet available, though they should be similar.
There were also six Wild Card games this season versus four last season, so some viewers may have had to take a game off to keep the family happy.
The rest of the weekend’s numbers are still coming in. I’d expect most to show year-over-year declines for the reasons I’ve already discussed. Next weekend will likely still compete with stronger news completion than the same weekend in 2020. That said, all four matchups have nationwide appeal. Look for the late-Sunday Bucs-Saints matchup to draw a monster number.
Now for the fun part of the conversation: the Nickelodeon number of 2.1 million is encouraging. It’s more than an NBA game gets in total. Nickelodeon says the game is its most most-watched program in nearly four years. Sorry, Disney (or Disney+), it wasn’t your afternoon. That’s a win for the NFL and slime fans across America.